Morphocode Picks #2

We use our Facebook and Twitter pages to share interesting resources with our community. Morphocode Picks is a selection of some of the most interesting stuff we’ve posted recently:

Hive Plot

Hive Plot is an attempt to make graph visualization more rational. As the authors put it: “ its output is not based on aesthetics but network structure. In this sense, the layout is rational — it depends on network features that you care about (e.g. connectivity).”  More about HivePlots


Self-Sufficient Habitat

IAAC announced the 5th Advanced Architecture Contest, on the theme of Self-Sufficient Habitat:


Wireflies is a videogame developed the Plethora Research Cluster at The Bartlett, UCL:

The (an)architecture of protest

City planning maps and documents:

Here is Today

Here is today is an interactive infographics about where “Today” stands:


From Landscape to Roofscape

“A Roofscape as an active drawing of agencies, a constitution between its elements.”

3D Cellular automata using WebGL

3D Cellular automata in the browser:

Wind Turbine Loft

We recently published the Wind Turbine Loft project on our website.

The feedback was great, as the project was featured on designboom, inhabitat, popular science, dvice, gizmag, engadget and more…



You can follow us on facebook and twitter to find more interesting stories!

CA: Conway’s Game of Life 3D

The definition demonstrates how to create a 3D structure using the memory of a 2D Game of Life Cellular Automata.

This is the most famous cellular automata ever invented. People have been discovering patterns for this rule since around 1970. Large collections are available on the Internet.
The rule definition is very simple: a living cell remains alive only when surrounded by 2 or 3 living neighbors, otherwise it dies of loneliness or overcrowding. A dead cell comes to life when it has exactly 3 living neighbors.
A rule by John Conway.
More about Game of Life

3D Cellular Automata: Game Of Life

CA: Conway’s Game of Life 2D with Rabbit

The definition demonstrates how to create the famous Game of Life Cellular Automata using Rabbit.

This is the most famous cellular automata ever invented. People have been discovering patterns for this rule since around 1970. Large collections are available on the Internet.
The rule definition is very simple: a living cell remains alive only when surrounded by 2 or 3 living neighbors, otherwise it dies of loneliness or overcrowding. A dead cell comes to life when it has exactly 3 living neighbors.
A rule by John Conway.
More about Game of Life

2D CA: Game of Life GH

CA: Excitable Media with Rabbit

The definitions demonstrate how to create Excitable Media Cellular Automata using RABBIT.

An excitable medium is a nonlinear dynamical system which has the capacity to propagate a wave of some description, and which cannot support the passing of another wave until a certain amount of time has passed (known as the refractory time).

A forest is an example of an excitable medium: if a wildfire burns through the forest, no fire can return to a burnt spot until the vegetation has gone through its refractory period and regrown. In Chemistry, oscillating reactions are excitable media, for example the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction and the Briggs-Rauscher reaction. Pathological activities in the heart and brain can be modelled as excitable media. A group of spectators at a sporting event are an excitable medium, as can be observed in a Mexican wave.

Get Excitable Media GH

CA: 1D Elementary Cellular Automata with Rabbit

The definition demonstrates how to create 1D Elementary Cellular Automata using RABBIT.

The simplest class of one-dimensional cellular automata. Elementary cellular automata have two possible values for each cell (0 or 1), and rules that depend only on nearest neighbor values. As a result, the evolution of an elementary cellular automaton can completely be described by a table specifying the state a given cell will have in the next generation based on the value of the cell to its left, the value the cell itself, and the value of the cell to its right.

1D Elementary CA GH

Morphocode at Staedelschule: The Workshop

Hello everyone,

As you already know, a few days ago we came back from Frankfurt where we held a three-day design workshop at The Städelschule Architectural class directed by Ben van Berkel and Johan Bettum.

We presented our work to the post-graduate students enrolled in first and second year of studies. We started with an introduction to the concepts of Cellular Automata and L-systems and their applications in generative design. Topics such as biomimetics, self-organization, complexity and pattern formation were also discussed during the workshop series. A special edition of our plug-in Rabbit was presented to the students of SAC.

Liebieghouse: this is where we held the L-Systems workshop

Overview of the room

What is the Städelschule?

The Städelschule is a contemporary fine arts academy, that was established in 1817 thanks to the merchant Johann Friedrich Städel. He left his fortune to the citizens of Frankfurt, allowing the founding of a school for talented young students as well as public access to his collection of art. Over the years two different institutions developed: the Städelmuseum and the Städelschule.

In 1987, the contemporary exhibition space Portikus was established, as part of the Städelschule and also gave a significant contribution to the school’s international reputation.
Currently the whole Staedel site is being renovated as part of Das Neue Staedel project:

Das Neue Staedel

The Städel Museum is being extended in order to assure additional exhibition space for its ever growing collection:

The Architecture Class of the Städelschule

Situated in an early 20th-century town house next to the main building of the Städelschule, SAC provides a near domestic setting for the social and academic life of its members. Thе two-year, post-graduate Master of Arts program in Advanced Architectural Design is led by its dean, Ben van Berkel, and Johan Bettum– professor of architecture and program director of the Städelschule Architecture Class. SAC provides an intense research setting for the creative exploration of current architectural issues.

Left: SAC; Bottom Right: The main entrance; Top Right: The fluffy toy lying in the bushes next to the entrance

Our Workshop

The first-day workshop dedicated to Cellular Automata was held at The Städelschule Aula.

As the extension of The Städel Museum is currently taking place all around we had to move two blocks away for the second part of our workshop, dedicated to L-Systems. It took place into a beautiful hall inside the The Liebieghaus sculpture museum.

The Liebieghaus presently accommodates a sculpture collection of the highest quality and offers an overview of five thousand years of sculpture from Ancient Egypt to Neoclassicism.

Working with the Students

SAC’s First Year Group students are beginning the year with an intense series of tutorials on digital modeling. Earlier this year, the students had their Rhinoscript workshop led by arch+lab. The group is composed of about 20 people from 16 nations.
We introduced them to the concept of L-Systems, showing what Rabbit can do. They did a nice job, producing great results.


Thanks to

We would like to thank Dimiter Kokalanov for his help in taking the photos and for the nice time we spent together.

Last but not least, we would like to mention Anton Savov who is pretty much responsible for us holding a workshop at SAC.
Anton is a great person and a talented young architect with an impressive portfolio, including participation at the Biennale in Venezia and solo exhibitions. We are sure that you’ll hear his name more often in the future.

Morphocode Workshop at Städelschule Architectural Class, Frankfurt

Morphocode will teach a three-day design workshop at the Städelschule Architectural Class on 15th, 17th & 18th of November, 2010.

The Städelschule Architectural Class is directed by Ben van Berkel and Johan Bettum and “provides a near domestic setting for the social and academic life of its members.”

The workshop is availble only for the students enrolled in the academic programs of SAC.

This workshop will cover the use of Cellular Automata & L-Systems in the process of generative design, including topics such as Self-organization, Pattern Formation and Complex systems, 1-D, 2-D, 3-D automata, Branching algorithms, branching models, 0L-Systems, bracketed L-Systems, turtle interpretation, fractals, etc…

We are going to present the latest version of our custom plug-in – Rabbit 0.3 to the participants of the workshop.
Rabbit 0.3 will be used to apply the theory in practice. Students will learn how to incorporate these advanced generative techniques in their design workflow using Rabbit.

The latest features of Rabbit 0.3 include 1-D Cellular automata, Excitable media models, L-System thickness control, L-System Step length control, etc..

Intro to Cellular automata

Cellular Automata

What is a Cellular automaton?

A Cellular automaton is a special kind of universe: space is divided into a finite number of cells, while time advances in time ‘hops'(t=0,1,2,3,…)
Each cell has a state ( for ex.: ‘Dead’, ‘Alive’, ‘True’, ‘False’, ‘Red’, ‘Blue’). A cell represents a Finite State Machine.
The cells are connected together. A group of connected cells is called a neighborhood/cluster. The state of the cell is affected by the states of it’s neighbors.
In the common scenario when time changes(for ex. t=1) each cell changes it’s current state in parallel to the other cells in the automaton.
A cellular automaton could exist in multiple dimensions: 1-D, 2-D, 3-D, …
One could think of a cellular automaton as a multi-agent system. Each cell represents an agent. Global emerging behavior could be observed in result of local interactions between cells.

More about Cellular automata:

Cellular Automata

Intro: Life-like Cellular automata

Life-like cellular automata are composed of “living” cells. A living cell has two possible states: Dead or Alive.
By default a cell dies except in these cases:

  • A cell survives if surrounded by N living neighbors
  • A cell comes to life if surrounded by K living neighbors

where N and K are integers (for ex. N=2, K=3)

Interesting facts:

Life-like automata are able to produce self-replicating patterns.
Life-like cellular automata display emerging behavior – global behavior resulting from local interactions

more info:


RABBIT: Tools for Grasshopper v.0.1.00 Released!

MORPHOCODE is pleased to announce the first release of RABBIT – a new plug-in for Grasshopper! RABBIT provides a new toolbar with custom components that could solve specific design problems. RABBIT v.0.1.00 contains 6 new components that could produce multiple Cellular Automata variations such as: 2X2, 34 Life, Amoeba, Assimilation, Coagulations, Conway’s Life(ghx included), Coral, Day&Night, Diamoeba, Flakes, Gnarl, HighLife, InverseLife, Long life, Maze, Mazectric, Move, Pseudo life, Replicator, Seeds (2), Stains, WalledCities…. The first release includes also a small list of pre-defined patterns.

This release works with version 0.6.0043 of Grasshopper and is freely distributable package licensed under Creative Commons License.