Growth Forms

George Hart
Proceedings of Bridges 2009: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2009)
Pages 207–214 Regular Papers


This paper presents work-in-progress on techniques for procedurally “growing” organic-looking forms. The goal is to design and implement techniques for expressing simple algorithmic operations that can be combined in various ways to produce forms that develop from an amorphous blob to a structured cellular assemblage. Growth “buds” in a cellular assemblage each execute short programs that determine local parameters of growth, e.g., directionality, branching, cell size, cell shape, and color. These are executed in a software simulator package that generates both graphical (2D) and geometric (3D) output. Every step along the way determines a triangulated manifold boundary that can be fabricated by solid freeform fabrication equipment. I plan to incorporate these techniques into future sculpture that combines mathematical ideas with organic sensibilities.