“On growth and form”

D’Arcy Thompson Wenthworth was a biologist who is considered the greatest scholar of the twentieth century, writing the most extensive scientific work written in prose of his time. His greatest contribution was the book “On Growth and Form”, being a sigular and creative book, expressing a critique biologists of his time which were considered overestimating the role of evolution and therefore undervaluing  mathematics as a means of study of physics and mechanics in determining the shape and structure of living things, just as proposing an answer to all the “divine elements”, saying that “the numerical precision is the very soul of science”

Thompson breaks all the schemes of his time, proposing a completely creative theory where the study of the form always ends in a definition or mathematical language offering unlimited freedom. He gives several examples of natural elements, living things, etc. and how their shape can be fully interpreted through mathematical relationships.

Thompson observed correlations between forms and mechanical phenomena. Showed similarity between life form as a jellyfish and natural elements as the shapes of the droplets of liquid that fall in a viscous fluid, including internal support structures in the hollow avian bones. His observations of phyllotaxis (numerical relationships between spiral structures in plants) and the Fibonacci sequence became basic time.

The book could never fit into the biological currents of his time and never has a proven theory but a hypothesis only provides ample capacity development and research. Thompson used the method of coordinates, through the exchange of x and y looking mathematical explanations in the definition of plants and animals.

In one of his cases deformation is based on the analysis of a common fish, modifying their vertical coordinates in a system of concentric circles, becoming horizontal lines in a similar system of hyperbolas, transferred to the new network appears as a clear representation allied but different looking at a sunfish try equally with skulls of mammals In his instructive cases of deformation of the network and the transformation that the analysis is based on a fish-cupine common Diodon. After conversion of the vertical coordinates in a system of concentric circles and the horizontal lines making a system of hyperbolas are provisionally resemble.

Its geometric theory is contrasted with Darwin’s theory because mutations exclude mathematics and there was physical possibilities existiia adequate explanation for the origin of new species, Thompson did not reject natural selection, but considered as a secondary source in the biologically.

On the concept of allometry, the study of the relationship between body size and shape, Thompson wrote:

“An organism is a complex thing, and the growth of such a complex phenomenon, so that growth is uniform and consistent manner on all parties to keep the whole shape unchanged would be an unlikely and unusual circumstances made . Rates vary, proportions change, and all configuration changes accordingly. ”

All this questions and doubts about the way we are facing the problems of our environment arise because the only time we could reaffirm the theories of thinkers like finding the enviroment  thompson and in living systems complex but full of information for the search of our answers, nature must be discovered in order to achieve the symbiosis between the wise man and the environment as the setting for this fact, the study adheres to thompson endless streams not only biological, but in our architectural case, we find the evolution and future of our profession in relation to our environment, absorbing the information you provide us and turning it into long-term solutions, hand with our advances in tools digital to facilitate this research process. the question is do we use teconology and research for the advancement of the environment or simply has become a source of vanity in the current architecture?


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