Architecture and Science

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Fractal Architecture: Organic Design Philosophy in Theory and Practice

James Harris

Throughout history, nature has served as an inspiration for architecture and designers have tried to incorporate the harmonies and patterns of nature into architectural form. Alberti, Charles Renee Macintosh, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Le Courbusier are just a few of the well- known figures who have taken this approach and written on this theme. With the development of fractal geometry--the study of intricate and interesting self- similar mathematical patterns--in the last part of the twentieth century, the quest to replicate nature's creative code took a stunning new turn. Using computers, it is now possible to model and create the organic, self-similar forms of nature in a way never previously realized.

In Fractal Architecture, architect James Harris presents a definitive, lavishly illustrated guide that explains both the "how"" and "why"" of incorporating fractal geometry into architectural design.


James Harris is an architect in New York, where he is a senior vice-president of The Related Companies. Among his commercial real estate projects are the Time Warner Center and the MIMA Complex at 42nd Street, as well as many other apartment and office structures and hotels.


"Architect Harris explores the role of fractal geometry in architecture in this beautiful book....An outstanding feature of the book is the large collection of computer-generated graphics, based on fractal algorithms, which show sequential stages of the development of complex buildings from simpler shapes. The author's approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on psychology, philosophy, art history, biology, physics, and mathematics."



8.5 x 11 in. 424 pages 360 color illustrations, 7 drawings, 52 halftones, 1 chart