Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Architecture and Community Design

Major Professor

Michael Halflants, M. Arch.

Committee Member

Theodore Green, M.A.U.D.

Committee Member

Shannon Bassett, M.A.U.D.


urban design, architecture, convention center, biomimicry, estuary


Emergent morphogenetic designs provide a superior architectural response to programmatic, technical, structural, environmental and spatial requirements that conventional unit based architectural forms are too inflexible to fully address.

Architecture has reached an exciting stage in its development, where structures are attempting to behave more like nature, which does not function as a static state, but as a complex grouping of symbiotic processes which are constantly evolving to adapt to environmental changes.

Digital fabrication and materials engineering have promoted an explosion in formal architectural typologies. By utilizing these digital tools and enhanced materials to embrace a morphogenetic design strategy, architecture can respond rapidly, through multiple permutations to respond to multiple performance criteria. This approach outlines a design process that generates a typology and through multiple reiterations, changes as the design reacts to new performance criteria being added, or the model not adequately meeting the criteria being tested.

The terms used to encompass this new design strategy are emergence, evolutionary optimization or morphogenetic design. This strategy utilizes tools in parallel that have been developed independently by different disciplines, including theoretical mathematics, materials engineering, bio-mimicry, environmental studies and digital technologies.

The site is a parcel located on Tampa Bay at the outlet of the Hillsborough River, where the existing unit based Tampa Convention Center will be replaced with the new performance based Convention Center. The research methods will be simulation and modeling research. This method will start with a performance based program, and submit the models to multiple permutations. Each performance criteria will be applied to develop an iterative process that re-informs the shape, design, structure and materials, and can be evaluated at the conclusion of the design process, testing the accuracy of the Thesis.