For more about #projecteducate Fractal Week events take a look at `NatalieKelsey's journal
For an architect, there's something utterly fascinating in geometry, especially in fractals: take the extra step and change the scale of your architectural perception, from a landscape vision to an urban one, from a building to a single room, from a façade to the surface of the raw material... and then turn and repeat your journey backwards. Try to focus on the symmetries and dimensional laws, on the textures and patterns, on the succession and arrangement of spaces and shapes. You can easily notice that there's often a natural and subtle order, and inconscious emulation of natural structures and laws, and nature quite always follows Fractal geometry rather than Euclidean.
That's probably why in Fractal images I can often see volumes and spaces, patterns and details, structures and buildings, cityscapes and citymaps, huge planetary settlements and tiny microscopic details of material textures.
Let's think about the growth of human settlements in the landscape. Cities and anthropized territories usually expand themselves following the same rules/patterns they're made of, with different scales. Ba-ila villages in southern Zambia (Africa) are clearly structured on a fractal design [link] , and so are several other settlements all over the continent [link] [link] .
Now just think about the traffic system in a city: it could remind you of the circulatory system in a human body. See how the "veins" become "capillaries", repeating the same structural pattern in a gradually narrowed scale from the center to the edges.
Fractal geometries have influenced and inspired builders, architects and artists throughout history: think about the precise proportions classic buildings were built with. Golden Ratio ruled not only the general dimensions of the various fronts, but also every single element even to the tiniest scale.
Think about Indian, Cambodian and south-eastern asian palaces and temples.
Think about Gothic buildings all over Europe.
Think about Baroque and Rococo palaces and churches, and the rough, curved and extremely detailed surfaces and volumes of Gaudì's buildings at the beginning of the past century.
Think about Le Corbusier's Modulor: human body and proportions (and thus Fibonacci Numbers and Golden Ratio) as base dimensions to plan the whole building and spaces.
And don't forget Organic Architecture - see Frank Lloyd Wright and all the modern studies regarding computerized generation of biological buildings which could completely emulate natural structures and life, breathing, growing and interacting with the environment like biological organisms.
Many of the most famous and important architects of the present days still focus their compositions and expressive/functional research on similar geometric and dimensional criteria.
Here's a showcase of beautiful examples of Fractal Art and Architecture Photography: I mixed them together, sometimes it's not that easy to tell the difference
BIBLIOGRAPHY AND SOURCES:
Some interesting websites about Fractal Architecture:
Fractals and Fractal Architecture
Fractals in the New Architecture - by Nikos A. Salingaros
Connecting the Fractal City - by Nikos A. Salingaros
Fractals in Architecture - University of Yale
Self-similarity, Fractals and Architecture
VANGUARQ - beyond architecture
(ITA) Daniele Capo, "La natura frattale degli ordini architettonici", Nexus Network Journal, vol. 6 no. 1 (Spring 2004)
(ITA) I Frattali e l'Architettura
Some interesting books:
Bovill, Carl "Fractal Geometry in Architecture and Design", 1995, A Birkhäuser book
Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein "A Pattern Language", 1977, Oxford University Press
Ron Eglash "African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design", 1999, Rutgers University Press
Nikos A. Salingaros "A Theory of Architecture", 2006, Umbau-Verlag, Solingen
"Nexus: Architecture and Mathematics" series, published by Kim Williams Books