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SONIPAT 131001


August 2018



(Adarsh Kumar Agrawal )



I, Adarsh Kumar Agrawal Roll Number, GCAD/14/101 hereby declare that the dissertation
titled Towards fractal architecture… submitted by me, in partial fulfilment of the requirement
of the curriculum of Bachelor of Architecture as per the university norms, to Gateway College
of Architecture and Design, is a record of my original work with credits given for information
collected from any other source.

Adarsh Kumar Agrawal

(Name of the Candidate)



This is to certify that the dissertation titled Towards fractal Architecture… submitted in partial
fulfillment of the requirement of the curriculum of Bachelor of Architecture is the work of
Adarsh Kumar Agrawal, Roll Number GCAD/14/101, who carried out research work under
our supervision in Gateway College of Architecture and Design, Sonipat, Haryana.

We recommend that the dissertation report be placed before the examiners for their

______________________________ ______________________________
(Name of the Guide) (Ar. Bikramjit Chakraborty)
Signature of the Guide Signature of the Coordinator


The Systematic relationship between humans and nature has had various outlooks, and has been
studied in the last few decades. Fractal architecture has been one of the most significant themes
discussed in architecture, and it is based on theories of chaos and complexity.

The idea of fractals in harmony with nature can be traced back to ancient times. Fractals have
intrigued us and let our brains enter a new world of thought where the idea of scale is limitless.
The idea of fractals has brought a paradigm change in the thought processes of deepening our
knowledge about nature, culture, science and more over space and time and if we connect the
dots, we realize that the dots lead to architecture.

This paper introduces fractal geometry theory and the evolution of fractal geometry in the past,
and its inherent efficiency in quantifying architecture. Thus it gives an overview on analyzing
architecture from the prospect of fractal theory and how it can aid in future form development.

The increasing concerns on form-oriented buildings have therefore added new challenges in
building architecture design and call for new design responses.

The fractal theme serves as a framework or reference for organizing an intellectual and aesthetic
presentation in order to explain the reality that everything in universe (nature) is
connected to everything else.

Developments , after the mid 20th century in mathematics environmental science, psychology,
computer science and artificial intelligence research and architecture as well suggests then
possibility of an alternative in the approach towards the aesthetic design of the built
environment. This new approach recognizes fractal geometry, and opposing Euclidean
geometry, as a more accurate measurement of our inhibited environment.

This new approach is not intended as a universal design methodology and does not suggest that
we can replace the traditional architecture theory. But then it would be criminal , be irresponsible
for architects and designers of the environments that we inhibit to ignore such a requirement in
favor of conceptual , philosophical and ideological concerns.


To My parents
( This is an optional note of gratitude to the sources and support system but the write up shouldn't

exceed more than one page and to express the diversity as well as emotion of the candidate. only

in case of 3/4 words it must be centrally aligned otherwise always “justify the text as per the



Thus having chosen the topic relating to fractals, I knew it would be an exploratory study

observing that there weren’t a single book in our library dedicated to the subject, however the

dissertation was insightful and I would like to thank the following people for their vital support

and help throughout my study.

Ar. Ravi Kakkar – for patiently guiding me through the entire research work.

All my friends for listening and bearing me.

My parents for everything.

Table of Contents

Tables and Figures…………………………………….……………………………….. (Page)

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………….. (Page)

1.3 subhead 03 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
1.4 subhead 04 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
1.5 subhead 05 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)


2.1 subhead 01 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
2.2 subhead 02 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)


3.1 subhead 01 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
3.2 subhead 02 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)

CHAPTER 4: CRITICAL DISCUSSION …………………………………………. (Page)
4.1 subhead 01 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
4.2 subhead 02 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
4.3 subhead 03 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
4.4 subhead 04 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide

CHAPTER 5: KEY ARGUMENT ………………………………………………. (Page)

5.1 subhead 01 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
5.2 subhead 02 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)

CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS ……………………………………………………… (Page)

6.1 subhead 01 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)
6.2 subhead 02 (to be decided by candidates in consultation with guide)

APPENDIXES:………………………………………………………………..………. (Page)

PLAGIARISM CHECK REPORT…………………………………………………… (Page)

(Students need to check their final text in any available online plagiarism check software and
put the report either in form of screenshot or as a PDF document) (remove this note written
in italics in your final printout)

BIBLIOGRAPHY …………………………………………………………………… (Page)

A dive into the world of fractals.

“clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones , coastlines are not circles, and bark is not
smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line, almost everything around us is non –
Benoit b. Mandelbrot- the fractal geometry of nature, 1982

Primarily, nature furnished the materials for architectural motifs out of which the architectural
forms as we know them today have been developed, and, although our practice for centuries has
been for the most part to turn from her, seeking inspiration in books and adhering slavishly to
dead formulae, her wealth of suggestion Is inexhaustible: her riches greater than any man’s
Frank Lloyd Wright – in the cause of architecture, architecture record, March 1908



It seems that humans have dominated nature and this is clearly visible in the era of contemporary
architecture. There are some prevailing viewpoints on the systematic relationships between
nature and human called “naturalistic perspectives” and this has been brought up in the last few
decades and in the world of emerging architecture the idea has shifted form “ seeking the nature”
to “ studying the nature” to resolve the crisis that arose from the failed relationship between
human and nature.

What are Fractals:-

1. The term fractals comes from the Latin word fractus which means broken or
irregular or unsmooth.
2. A natural phenomenon or mathematical set that exhibits a pattern that displays at
every scale.
3. The self-similar object undergoes modification such that dimensions of the
structure are all modified by the same scaling factors.
4. The shape may change in size or orientation but the shape remains the same.
5. These shapes are seen in nature architecture and design mathematics ecology etc...
History of fractals:-

The term fractal was created in 1975 by French mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, derived from
the Latin word Fractus, and related to the English word fracture and fraction, to describe the
group of odd shapes and geometries that he was studying (Gallick, 1988) they fall under a field
of studies which emerged since 1960s known as the chaos theory, which deals in a general sense
with deterministic systems which are not predictable in the long term (Gallick, 1988).

Fractals in Architecture:-

When the forms of Architecture are defined they are very much based in Euclidean geometry as
the forms are handmade, but we can easily find the components of Fractals in Architecture.

The idea of buildings in harmony with universes (nature) can be traced back to ancient
Egyptians, China, Greeks, Indians and Romans. At the beginning of the 21st century, the
increasing concerns on form oriented on buildings have added new challenges in building
architecture design and called for new and different design responses. As considered the
language of the universe (nature) it is, therefore, natural to assume that the fractal geometry
could play a vital role in developing different new forms of design.

Fractals are the self-similar sets whose patterns comprises of smaller-scales copied of
themselves, possessing the property of self-similarity at different scales. This means that they
repeat their patterns to an infinitely smaller scale. A pattern with a higher fractal dimension is
much more complicated and irregular than the one which has a lower dimension, and fills up
more space than general. In many other practical applications, spatial analysis is needed to
characterize and quantify the different hidden order in many complex patterns, fractal geometry
is a perfect tool for investigating such complexity. Irregular pattern in order is important in
aesthetics as it embrace the concept of dynamism, which shows a natural phenomenon. In
architectural design terms, it represents design principle. Therefore, the fractal geometry has
played a significant role in architectural design method. In spite of its growing applications of
fractals in architecture, they mainly focus on applications for fractal design patterns for
aesthetics. Few of the works have related themselves to a comprehensive and an unified view
of fractal geometry .We aim to fill this gap by introducing fractals as a innovative concepts and

presenting the current status of fractals and recent developments in architecture through
different examples, This paper shows that incorporating the newer (fractal) way of thinking into
the method of architecture design provides a way for an in-depth understanding of the very
complex nature of architectural design.


The aim is to study,review and understand the fractal geometry and evaluate architecture based
on fractal character of the environment and explore how these concepts may be applied in
architecture design.


1. To understand fractal geometry, it’s meaning and underlying principles.

2. To understand how fractal architecture have been used in historic times.
3. To study the significance- why and how it has been used and how it can prove to be
4. To explore and identify how fractals help in generating forms.
5. To present an insight into how fractal architecture can become a paradigm shift
throughout the history of architecture.


1. The broader scope – firstly understanding the fundamentals of fractal architecture

and the concept of fractals in architecture
2. Exploring the links between the fractal geometry and architecture
3. Quantifying architecture with the help of fractals
4. The graphical interpretation of fractals rather than the mathematical one.


1. The study will not get involved with the direct application of fractal geometry
however the basics may be applied

2. This will touch the application of fractal theory in the complex layers in built form
3. As this is a conceptual topic so there is a scarcity of practicising architects and
buildings in these terms.


1. What does the unseen form look like?

2. What is the origins of Forms that we Design?
3. Why was the term Fractal coined?
4. What are Fractals ?
5. What is the history of Fractals?
6. How does Fractals exist in nature?
7. Does the Knowledge of fractals help in achieving new forms?
8. Are fractals capable of quantifying complex architectural forms?


1. The first step was the collection of all the relevant data on the subject from various
sources such as magazine, books and world wide web.
2. Reading through the obtained text it was important to elicit only the information
which was necessary and pertinent . Fractal architecture as a subject is quite vast and
has many mathematical inferences attached to it . as a matter of fact the word itself
was coined by a mathematician. All the fractals comprehensibly can be
mathematically expressed.
3. Associations have been traced between form and functions, between social processes
and physical form, to build the continuing link through the scales from the metropolis
to the neighborhood , to the street and the building plot itself.
4. Then came the historical relevance of the subject. If we delve deep into the history
there would be numerous examples , which depict how unknowingly man has since
time applied this concept in his buildings and settlements.

5. This lead to the ultimate quest of the new sciences in finding rules that generate real
architecture. Architecture display enormous variety but there is order to the variety
and which is very clearly made up of simple elements. Proceeding further examples
from the present were cited on the basis of this phenomenon.
6. Concluding the research, I believe there are justified questions to be answered ,
questioning the right to the metaphorical expression of Architecture based on fractal



What is Architecture:-

It is involved with something that revolves around the organization of spaces providing
definitions to shelter and creating an order.

What is order :-

It may be defined as the sequence or the arrangement of things or events subjects to rules or

Relating these two

Throughout the history order in architecture has been defined with the help of the structure
stabilities and equilibrium but when the technological era hit the pace of the world it seems
that the order has been interpreted and reinterpreted with the help of straight lines, symmetry
,Euclidean geometry {the Elements. Euclid's method consists in assuming a small set of
intuitively appealing axioms, and deducing many other propositions (theorems) from these.}
And other design principles. and this principles led in the creation of massive buildings and
connections between humans and nature. Fortunately contemporary architects have started
questioning and have started thinking about these rules and that very nature of order and these
have helped in creation of massive buildings and human connections and the very nature have
started thinking into the meta physical{ explaining the fundamental nature of being } aspects of
the building.

For centuries nature had been real source of inspiration architects and designers have been
completely dependent upon nature for inspirations. Nature being so diverse ,organic ,different
in all its forms but it still seems that nature have got a certain order and it can be broken into
mathematical relationships that control all the whole of this huge universe and all the organism.

The laws of the nature not only governs the physical forms as well as the behaviors as we
humans being the integral part of the cosmos are also directly subjected to the order that nature
has provided us and when something goes against the order of nature the negative psychological
response is generated and so in order to define this psychological relationship humans as well
as buildings creatively dispense order and hierarchy. And architecture being the projection of
human thoughts and ideas in case if the architecture want to sustain.

Christopher Alexander mentioned in his book “nature of order “

“The structure of life I have described in buildings is deeply and inextricably connected with
human person with the innermost t nature of human feeling “


Fractal geometry is also being able to describe complex forms finding out their detailed
underlying order and regularity – self similarity simple algorithm by reproducing the real world
and not by abstractions but into pure mathematics “ clouds are not spheres “ as mentioned by
Benoit b. Mandelbrot

Therefore fractals offer a good and a wide range of application in architecture even the most
of well-planned architecture using the Euclid geometry showing the simplicity of form have
been adopted to their context in more natural ways and therefore they contain organic nature in
some way within and irregularity and this can be visualized through the fractal geometry
measuring the patterns of architecture and generating a better understanding towards

The investigation of the phenomena involving this complex geometry patterns and scaling has
gone through a rigorous and spectacular development in the past few decades. And For this
relatively short period of time, geometrical and/or temporal scaling have been shown to
represent the common aspects of many different processes occurring in an unusually diverse
range of fields including physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, economics, technology
,human behavior and psychology. As a rule, the complex nature of this phenomenon is
manifested in the underlying intricate or very detailed geometry which in most of the cases can
be described in terms of objects with non-integer (fractal) dimension. In other cases, the
distribution of events in time/space or various other quantities show specific scaling behavior,
thus providing a better and clear understanding of the relevant factors determining the given

Once you developed a fractal eye, you will tend to see them everywhere. Every single thing that
you see is one way or the other related to fractal be the thing may be as small as a nucleus or be
it the scale of some multidimensional figure, you find these characters existing within the
boundaries as well as beyond the undefined boundaries. We change the attitude to perceive what
we see, what we see astonishes us because of the infinite characters that the single small or large

entity carries within itself and this increases the ability of questioning, reasoning and this leads
to finding more and more realities which are still under the cover of mystery.

The discovery of fractal geometry changes completely the kind of patterns we can look for
nature and provide greater possibilities for finding of forms and patterns for Architecture.

For E.g.:-
Just look at the milkyway galaxy it is like looking at a fractal. It has got a dotty character and
yet if you take the telescope and you find that there are hundreds and hundreds of smaller dots
when it seems there are none and now continue zooming in and in and you start finding newer
planets and stars and newer galaxies which are still unidentified.



Euclidean geometry and fractal geometry are not conflicting rather complimenting. That is
fractal geometry was able to clear several confusing theories that Euclidean geometry could not
thereby filling the gaps in it ( Haggard and Cooper,2006)

About Basic assumptions behind Basic assumptions behind
Euclidean geometry (200 years Fractal geometry (200 years
old) old)
1. Description The main concern is the There is holistic reality, infinitely
description of human made complex but geometrically
objects. Natural objects are describable which we call nature.
assumed to be difficult to
describe or indescribable by
2. form Simple rules give simple forms, Infinitely complex forms are easy
complex forms require complex to generate by simple means.
rules; therefore simplicity is a Complexity is an accessible to
virtue. us. Simplicity can be a virtue, but
cannot be simplistic. Complexity
is beyond our heritage.
3.form generation Formulae are the generator of Iteration and feedback are the
form. generator of form.
4.randomness Randomness has no place in Randomness can be a part of the
geometry. form generating process.
5.dimension There are three whole numbered There are an infinite number of
dimensions. dimensions that can fill the gaps
between one two and three
6.infinity Infinity is not dealt within Infinity is an everyday quality and
geometry. part of geometry.
7.scale Scale is the relative size of Scale is where we choose to focus
objects to ourselves, other our attention in an infinity of
objects, or systems of choices of scale.

8.order Order is predictable and Order can be very complex, order
desirable. Disorder is and perceived disorder are not
unpredictable and undesirable. discrete things but often aspects
of the same thing.
9.reality Reality is dualistic with order and Reality is complex, diverse and
disorder in opposition to each holistic. Duality between order
other. and disorder is sometimes a
useful tool, often an illusion and
sometimes delusion.
10.harmony Harmony can be achieved by Harmony can be achieved by
simplification. complexity.
11.order and dynamics Control is an important part of Dancing with chaos is an
aesthetics. essential part of aesthetics.
12.symmetry Symmetry and asymmetry are Self similarity and affine
important part of aesthetic similarity are also important
devices. aesthetic devices.
13.length Length is fixed and measurable. Length is often infinite.
14.form expression Geometrical solids are the basic Fluidity is an essential part of
building blocks of aesthetics aesthetics because ot deals with
because it deals with connectivity and processes.


In the 20th century, some architects believed that they were clearly organized , simply ordered
and thus they became predictable, capable of being designed and planned in such a way that the
quality of life of their residents could be directly improved by manipulating the physical form.
This was the perspective that was held throughout the social sciences. It was founded on the
belief that the social world and its representations in physical artifacts such as cities, buildings
were coherent and understandable in the same way that the physical world had been understood
since the enlightenment.

As we begin the new millennium this all seems to be naïve and our understanding of the systems
in the small scale does not add up in any measure to our understanding in the large. Our theories
and methods do not scale. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. Systems everywhere are
simpy too complex to be reduced to tenants of the conventional science. In the social world,
prediction is logically impossible

Architecture the way we understand them and the way we plan and design them demonstrate all
the features of crisis of rationality. The massive explosion of population and the emergence of
the world or global cities were not anticipated. Likewise, the impact of information and
communication technologies and the rise of the network city could not be predicted, while at
more local scales the development of buildings and the edge of the edge of the cities, the
refocusing on the suburbia, and the collapse of public transport systems have only been
explicable in hindsight. In short, conventional science was unable to predict or even sense the
emergence of new kinds of cities and new urban forms.

The general response to these dilemmas has been looking forward to a new theory based on the
understanding architecture in terms of their superficial structure through the keleidoscopee of
social and physical complexity. Hence the view has been gaining grounds that insight and not
prediction must be the goal of the science.

When there is a change in the basic framework of the thought then there has to be a shift in the
built vocabulary. This like other forms of cultural expression is embedded in the reiginingmental
paradigms. Society lacks direction. It is disintegrating into angry fragments. Many thinkers
claim that it is confused because there is no shared philosophy.

Against the background of the decline is an unnoticed growth,. A new world view has startd to
spring up. For the first time since the twelfth century we are beginning to construct an all-
encompassing story that could unite the people of the globe.

“ a meta narrative of the universe and its creation”

our understanding of the narrative is quite unique we are the first generation to know the
approximate age of the universe , its likely origin, the mainline history, and its fundamental
principle of the increasing complexity . Traditional religion emphasizes constancy, the
modernists with their mechanist model emphasize predictability, but the cosmos is more
dynamic than either a predestined world.

A new science of form based on fractal geometry has emerged during the last fifteen years .
Fractal or fractal objects as they collect, are irregular in shape but their irregularity is similar
across many scales, thus enabling them to be described mathematically, and to be generated
computationally. fractals cannot described using geometry of irregular figures based in points,
lines, planes – the geometry of the Euclid- for they exist between the dimensions and therefore
must be measured by means of their fraction or fractal dimensions.

Warning of Michael Brinsley in the introduction to his book, Fractals Everywhere,(academic


“ Fractals will make you see everything differently… you risk the loss of your childhood
visions of clouds, forests, leaves, flowers, rocks, mountains, torrents of water, carpets, bricks
and much else besides.”

FRACTALS – the new approach


FRACTALS – ( The new science )

If architecture is responsible for continuing the development that ranges from protecting the
caves over the fallen down trees as a first shelter to buildings made of timber or stones and upto
modern interpretations of nature like Frank Lloyd Wright’s examples, then architecture, natural
materials, time and the structure of nature may still be in unity. In this way , nature offers
characteristics of fractal geometry rather than such of Euclidean geometry. Thinking if self
similarity for example this is not a new aspect in architecture, as there are similar forms on
different scales e.g. in the gothic style . but also Frank Lloyd Wright used variations of form on
different scales as a concept of his buildings and he did not copy nature as it is offered in trees,
but was looking for the underlying structures of their organizations. The true mathematical
fractals offer such ideas where complex forms have simple underlying algorithms.



Natural features such as snowflakes, coastlines, mountain terrain are example of fractals in
nature, silicon chips fluctuations in stock market are manmade artifacts exhibiting fractal
properties. The morphology of architecture is fractal. Their study using Fractal design enables
rich, predictive models of their structure to be developed, yielding new insights how architecture
develop or developed.

Since the enlightenment, it was held that the social world and its representation in physical
artifacts such as buildings were coherent and understandable in the same way that the physical
world was. The triumph of rationality through the application of the scientific method could be
transferred wholesale and emulated in the social world. Till the mid twentieth century, it was
held that architecture were clearly organized, simply ordered and thus predictable; capable of
being designed in such a way that quality of life of its residents could be directly improved by
manipulating their built environment.

However the rational scientific world has been split asunder in the last 20 years. The limits
imposed by theories of incompleteness, uncertainty, and complexity have destroyed any hope
of a complete understanding of the physical and social world. Dreams of a final theory are a
chimera. Architecture the way we understand them, and plan them demonstrate all the features
of the crisis of rationality. Conventional science was unable to predict or even sense the
emergence of new kind of architecture, new forms.


Fractals can exist in any dimension. They have precise mathematical properties. Fractals exhibit
scale invariance shown through self-similarity the whole is formed from scaled versions of its
parts. The ultimate quest of the new science is to find rules that generate real architecture.
Wherever self-similarity is generated across scales by repetitions of a simple branching system,
then tree like structures emerge which we see in terms of road networks for cities or circulations
for buildings. Architecture display enormous variety and this order is very clearly made up of
simple elements.
The distributions of places of different sizes and the way they grow is consistent with fractal
theory. The basic pattern of the circulations and orbital repeats itself through the scales as fractal
geometry dictates. In fact fractal geometry makes no distinction between planned and

organically growing forms other than the fact that organically growing forms are often
deterministic fractals with some noise or randomness added.

However, the rational scientific world has been split asunder in the last 20 years. The limits
imposed by theories of incompleteness, uncertainty and complexity have destroyed any hope of
a complete understanding of the physical and social world. Dreams of a final theory are a
chimera. Cities the way we understand them demonstrate all the features of the crises of
rationality. Conventional science was unable to predict or even sense the emergence of new
kinds of cities, new urban forms (edge cities, network cities, global cities).

Fractals and mathematics



The development of this kind of fractals consists of simple rules – a starting image, the so- called
initiator, is replaced by another image, the so-called generator. But, nevertheless they are very
complex and always strictly self-similar it does not matter which part we analyse, it always
looks exactly like a scaled down copy of the whole set. The tools to create such fractals are
called iteration and feedback: Iteration means that the procedure is thickness of the repeated
based on the result of the previous step.

Cantor Set

For producing the Cantor Set the initiator, a straight line of a certain length, is replaced by a
generator consisting of two lines, each of the length of 1/3 of the initiator, in such a way that the
new lines are located in each case at the end of the initiator. From that an open middle interval
of the same length as the lines of the generator emerges but this “hole’’ does not include its end
points- these points belong to the two outer parts, marked 1 and 2 in fig. 2.4. This geometric
rule is repeated again with the two new lines, which leads to four lines and so on.


In theory the thickness of the Cantor set is nearly zero, but for illustration purposes I use some
thickness. The hierarchy on the right gives the cascade of the no of parts at each step.

Example: The planet Saturn has not only one ring but many. The rings are split several times,
which was discovered by “Voyager I’’. These splits are mostly very small. In addition to that
the rings let the sunshine through, which means that they are transparent, like a meagre such as
the Cantor set. The structure of the rings may be interpreted as circles with the distance of the
point of the Cantor set.

Sierpinski Gasket


For producing the Sierpinski Gasket, the initiator, an equilateral triangle is replaced by a
generator consisting of 3 equilateral triangles, each of the size of half the initiator, in such a way
that the new triangles are located in each case at the 3 corners of the initiator. In other words,
and equilateral triangle is cut out in the middle. In this cut out triangle is half the size of the
initiator and rotated by 180 degrees – the side points of the triangle are defined by the mid points
of the sides of the triangle. The same procedure is repeated of the three new triangle and so on.
The remaining triangle or the set of points that are left after infinite iteration is called the
Sierpinski Gasket.

Koch Curve

The initiator of this fractal is again a line, the generator of four lines of one third of the initiator.
For their creation the initiator line is divided into three equal parts with the middle part being
replaced by an equilateral triangle of the side length of one third of the initiator – the lower part
of the triangle, however, is taken. This procedure is then repeated for the four new lines. After
infinite steps the construction leads to the Koch Curve



Mathematical fractals with a chance factor

Whether the middle part of the generator of the Koch Curve moves up or down is chosen at
random, that means α = ±60˚ β = -α. Such a procedure can produce structure similar to natural
coast line:

In mathematical terms, this is largely due to the fact that the mathematical facts within which
such model operate is so convoluted and infinitely divisible that it is impossible to accurately
guess the starting position of the system within this space. Over the last two decades, the view
has been gaining ground that insight and not prediction should be the goal of science.

Systems everywhere are simply too complex to be reduced to the tenets of conventional science.
The facts that simple system are manifested with a level of complexity that was completely
unknown when somewhere to explain why more complex systems, which were often built from
the simpler elements, were entirely unpredictable, even chaotic. Cities demonstrate chaotic
behaviour under certain regime, whose traditional models are unable to yield depiction with
scale and form known in advance.

Chaotic systems are the rule and not the exception which is what complexity
science upholds.

We traditional assumed that systems are linearly thus their future behaviour become predictable
even when changes occur. Systems in fact do not behave so simplistically. They show
discontinuity in their behaviour, mark by catastrophe and bifurcation. Slight perturbation –
random effects – would push their evolution into uncharted territory. In short, simple and small
effects are magnify quickly into large scale effects due to the action of the positive feedback
whose effect build spontaneously commutatively on each other.

Edward Lorenzo who discovered chaos, presented short paper in 1972, entitled:

“Does the butterfly winds in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?”

The Ecological Dimension

A radically new urban philosophy can emerge from this research. It is but a small step
in the direction I am proposing to bring the natural environment into the picture. This way of
looking at the built environment gives priority to human beings and small- scale structures. A
tree grows naturally next to a low, crooked wall, and within a courtyard. A wide, uneven
sidewalk has space to accommodate trees. An archeologically open space provides a habitat for
some urban (if only avian) wildlife. This is more a philosophy of nature and of the earth than
conscious to urbanism. In the event, and as I said, an urbanism that is mode stand respects human
sensibilities will also respect the natural environment; it goes hand in hand with a modest
architecture of human proportions and textures.

Fractal biomimetic

Comolevi Forest Canopy is an example of biomimetics where the fractal nature of a tree canopy
was imitated in order to achieve the effective cooling system natural leaves and branches
constitutes. The Comolevi Forest Canopy works by filtering the sun rays and shading surfaces
below without blocking the air flow – just the same way a tree does. The Japanese company
Lofsee Co., Ltd. aimed to solve the urban heat and in lack of natural vegetation they managed to
invent a system mimicking nature without having to actually work with natural elements, thus not
needing deal with the issues connected to vegetation in an architectural or urban environment,
such as draining systems, or slab thickness etc. (Ask Nature)


Biomimetic can also occur at nano-scale, one approach is focusing on structural elements. The
lotus-effect is a term now used for describing self-cleaning. The fractal structural patterns of
leaves, but also insect wings and exoskeletons makes it hard for dirt particles to stick,
furthermore the surfaces repel water by using wax excretions.

When comparing the two examples above the former seems more realistic in a fairly short-term
perspective, at least regarding production, since it is not depending on accuracy at nano-scale.
When choosing what scale to execute fractal biomimetic, many aspects need to be taken into
consideration, for instance what the purpose is, aesthetic, performing, or both, available
technology, economy etc. When defined, a wide range of different fabrication methods might
be suitable; it might be 3d-printing for mid-range scales, chemical procedures for nano-scales,
or more traditional production methods for larger scales.

The fractal structures of the African villages examined by Ron Eglash shows that also vernacular
production methods can create intricate mathematical structures, although there’s no direct
connection to biomimetic.

Digital Technology in Fractal City Simulations

As indicated before, some mathematical fractals can be used as a visual help for planning streets,
footpaths and the like under the view-point of irregularity or in line with the question about how
much of a certain area can be supplied – the higher the fractal dimension the higher the
irregularity and the more of the entire space can be reached. Besides, fractals may also act as a
first approach for defining the distribution of buildings or the size and position of properties, the
fractal dimension of the resulting site-plan saying something about the irregularity of the project.


Mandelbrot named the process that produces a fractal dust, which is a disconnected set
of points with clustered characteristics, “curdling”. How can the “curdling” process be
The “curdling” process, as described in this section, produces a fractal dust that may act
as a first sketch of a site plan for one-family houses or row houses, the fr actal dimension
indicating the density. In this connection the environment, a mountain ridge or the like, can be
used as an instruction for the “curdling” process in so far that the probability can be derived
from the measured fractal dimension of this surrounding. But repairing the “curdling” process
with the same starting options, that is probabilities, results in different shapes, which is also
pointed out by different actual fractal dimensions – the theoretical fractal dimension is generated
with the remaining boxes of the ideal case of a certain probability. This a couple of “site-plans”
of the same probability can be generated, where finally the most useful “site-plan” elaborated
further by adapting it to the surroundings, such as existing roads, hills or rivers.


Fractal geometry has been applied in architecture design to investigate fractal structures of cities
and successfully in building geometry and different design patterns.

The research can be started of the buildings ‘ self similarity by 1104. The Cathedral of Anagni
( Italy) the floor is adorned with many mosaics and the idea based on Sierpinski gasket fractal.
The mosaic showing iteration. The cathedral was build during 1104 and is one of the oldest
handmade fractal.


The floor of the cathedral of Anagni in Italy

The cathedral at Reims( France) shows rising fractal structure and is represented in the elevation.
All the tower has big arcades and two windows, and their dimension decrease in each floor. In
saint Paul’s church, we have seen the presence of self similar shapes, in Venice many places
have got a rising fractal character.

Fractal building in Venice
The Ba- ila settlement of Southern Zambia

Ba-ila settlement


Schematic model

One of the best examples would be this sub- Saharan settlement based on cattle husbandry. It
consists of ‘Kraals’ for protecting livestock at night, houses and storage structure.

The image is an extended family’s homes; a ring-shaped livestock pen, with a gate on one end.
Each unit is progressively growing from the gate. In case of the Chief’s house diametrically
opposite the gate (part of the largest dwelling) is situated entirely inside the ring. There is an
alter at the back of each house. This is a clear depiction of the status gradient within the ring
structure- Kulela” (to nurse) is the type of relation the Chief has is described.

The important areas are towards the west end facing the rising sun. The wealth a family bores
is expressed in terms of the size of the extended family.

New Delhi Master plan


New Delhi Master Plan

Delhi has been the capital of British India since 1911.As it is the capital city so there were many
buildings designed by the British in the outskirts of the core city which included the major parts
such as Red fort and Jama Masjid. Sir Edwin Lutyens adopted Hexagram Plan and its
applications on the site. There were mainly two axes planned i.e. Rajpath and Jan path.

The solution which was found to be the best was dividing the main axis by erecting
four large buildings.

 The oriental institute

 The museum
 The library
 The records office
This type of networking pattern could be traced in the engravings and jaali patterns
of Mughal architecture.
They transformed to the centres of intellectual interests and are the iconic of
extreme metaphoric potential.


Generation of Hexagram Plan from the two main axes

Antonio Gaudi Sangrada Familia

“Those who look for the laws of Nature as a support for their new works collaborate with the
-Antonio Gaudi, on why he was inspired by nature

Sangrada Familia was able to combine Gaudi’s penchant for Gothic and Catalan architecture,
and curvilinear Art Nouveau shapes. Symbolism reflects in every element of the building.
Gaudi’s work can be described
based on ‘art nouveau’ and ‘organic’.
Each detail from Barcelona to the cathedral, its spiers, the evangelists; each detail is


Kandariya Mahadev Temple – Khajuraho
This structure symbolises the mountains embracing the skies. The façade creates vibrating
repetition almost like geological strata, owing to the Hindu Mythology. Creating a rich
asymmetrical harmony, contrasting vertical and horizontal components. ‘


Fractals have been applied to many elevation structures to exclusively address power and
balance in the facade. Some are very excellent examples of classical architecture that can be
seen in many parts of the Europe and in the Middle East and Asia which have the effects of
fractal elevations, for example, Reims’ cathedral and Saint Paul church in France, Castel del
Monte in Italy and many palaces in Venice (ca’ Foscari, Ca’ d’Oro, Duke Palace, Giustinian
Palace) in Italy. Venice has been one of most talked about the fractals .More and more vital
evidence shows that the fractals exists in Gothic cathedrals in general. The pointed arch is an
impression of the elevation, that appear in entrance, at windows and the costal arch with many
scales and details displays the elevations of a five-floor tenement building in the historical part
of Barcelona which shows self-organization and self-similar structure.


A tenement house in the historical part of Barcelona, Spain: the elevation's photograph from the
90-s (left part ); the geometric synthesis shows the original architecture design


Castel del monte, Apulia(Italy) and the comparison with Mandelbrot set

In the Middle East, fractal patterns have been adopted widely in designing stucco, a typically
Persian art form for the decoration of dome interiors, the pattern in the dome interior has four
attractors surrounding the main one at the center (Sarangi).


Stucco dome interior in a private house in Kashan

We can find fractals in oriental architecture too. During 18th century Shiva shrine which is in
the heart of India and the construction is done with the help of sandstone. The linga resides in
the temple and the lintel above the ground is placed with lord Ganesha . the shikara is typical to
that of the north Indian temples architecture. That also posses fractal character.In Asia,
architectures which posses fractal structures have also been found in abundance like Humayun’s
Mausoleum, and the Sacred StupaPha That Luang in Laos. Fractals have been used to study
Hindu temples and In China and also in some mosques in the west which were more likely to
incorporate such domes which have fractals within them. One important feature in Chinese
architecture is that its emphasis on symmetry which conveys a sense of grandeur and power.


Sacred stupa – vientane (Laos )

The previous examples portrayed that carry the fractal characters are unconsciously placed, but
some pf the famous 20th century architects have researched a conscious self-similarity

E.g. FrankL loyd Wright in his late work (palmer house) has used some self similar equilateral
triangles in the plan. A kind of nesting of the fractal forms can be observed at two different
points in the palmer house . in palmer house the fractal quality is in every case the result of
conscious act of design.


Box counting is a method of gathering data for analyzing complex patterns by breaking
a dataset, object, image, etc. into smaller and smaller pieces, typically "box"-shaped, and
analyzing the pieces at each smaller scale. The essence of the process has been compared to
zooming in or out using optical or computer based methods to examine how observations of
detail change with scale. In box counting, however, rather than changing the magnification or
resolution of a lens, the investigator changes the size of the element used to inspect the object
or pattern


Theoretically, the intent of box counting is to quantify fractal scaling, but from a
practical perspective this would require that the scaling be known ahead of time. This
can be seen where choosing boxes of the right relative sizes readily shows how the
pattern repeats itself at smaller scales. In fractal analysis, however, the scaling factor
is not always known ahead of time, so box counting algorithms attempt to find an
optimized way of cutting a pattern up that will reveal the scaling factor. The
fundamental method for doing this starts with a set of measuring elements boxes
consisting of an arbitrary number, called here for convenience, of sizes or calibers,
which we will call the set of s. Then these -sized boxes are applied to the pattern and
counted. To do this, for each in , a measuring element that is typically a 2-
dimensional square or 3-dimensional box with side length corresponding to is used
to scan a pattern or data set (e.g., an image or object) according to a
predetermined scanning plan to cover the relevant part of the data set, recording,
i.e.,counting, for each step in the scan relevant features captured within the measuring

Illustrations of the box count of a Frank Lloyd Wright’s building (robie house )


An aspect of fractal architecture is how it affects humans from an environmental psychological

point of view. In the article Fractal Architecture Could Be Good For You (Joye, 2007) the
author presents numerous architectural examples where fractal geometry plays an important
role, from Hindu temples, where the self repeating and self-similar components are supposed to
reflect the idea that every part of cosmos contain all information about the whole cosmos, to
gothic architecture, with a high degree of self similarity and complex detailing.



Pure fractals are abstract geometrical object and they obey a particular kind of distribution and
that there are many non-geometrical objects that obey this universal distribution and hence we
may draw that a stable system has fractal properties.

Smaller design elements in a built form are more in number and this is quite visible in adaptive
design. Like in khajurao temple the finer design elements are repeated several number of times
this also helps in bringing it down to human scale, connecting the divine and the earth.

It is due to the fractal nature of earlier temples that it was difficult to quantify or study them
using Euclidean geometry. This is because the unit of scale was determined by the natural
objects generally human proportions which are again fractal.

The stability of a system depends upon the relative number and sizes of the components it also
depends upon the interconnectivity on the same level and at different levels

The complexity and diversity are essential and add on the overall quality of space. A
phenomenon which we discussed earlier while discussing layering. It is quite visible in the
number of layers in any settlement that create the multitude of events that occur.

Fractal architecture embracing complexity and diversity

An environment design with an altered concept of scale embracing the idea of complexity,
diversity ,harmony, natural flow is sustainable just like multi storied canopy structure above
ground and the roo5t to varying depths in subsurface perpetuating eternally in a first landscape
despite forest fires. Such as environmental design is a different aesthetic with major changes in
the design process which includes the following.

Scale is where you consciously decide to focus within an infinite number of focal potential focal
points : singular scale in a Euclidean sense is replaced by a continuity of intersecting scales. The
selection of appropriate focal length and their relation to region, site, people , function, materials
etc. is an integral part of the design process. These are choices that must be made by the designer.

Metabolic efficiency is measured by using the smallest range of focal length : using the nearest
possible foci for energy, materials , water and waste processing allows miniaturization of
present metabolic process and the greatest efficiency of the whole. Accordingly, the designer

must work as much as possible with on site resources, and minimize the use of offsite resources,
and on site resources.

Aesthetic effectiveness is measured by the expression of the broadest range of foci within the
design the broader reach of the design, the more obtainable the aesthetic goals of continuity and
connectivity becom. This is in contrast to the aesthetic expression of reductionism and
compartmentalization characteristic of industrial architecture. A fractal contectualism must be
an integral of the aesthetic composition.

Complexity can replace the importance of function: once functions are distributed to the
appropriate focal length, spatial complexity can be central to the design. If design is completed
with an intelligent and complex series of scales , all necessary functions can be provided for and
will ensure the evolution of design over time.

Self similarity is the glue between parts and wholes, variety and unit: the integration of each
complimentary aspect nature and urbanity work and retreat, community, and privacy should also
occur at each focal length in a pattern of self similarity or affine similarity, where perceived
contradictions can be resolved.

Maximum social and cultural diversity is possible and desirable within a cohesive unity: in
fractal geometry, infinite diversity and unified order is an every day occurrence, not an idealistic
dream. The design must enhance not diminish diversity.


I am looking to the future, when we will use the above scientific knowledge about complex
systems and their interactions to better plan our cities. Critics of such ideas dismiss theme
as nostalgic, belonging to the past. This is not accurate. What I propose has a striking

commonality with some aspects of traditional urbanism, which accommodates human
beings and not machines or abstract geometric forms

This paper has illustratively reviewed the fundamental concepts and properties of fractal
geometry theory essential to architecture design, as well as the current state of its applications.
Fractal geometry has important implications for buildings. The representative review shows that
architecture design is not made to be isolated but to anticipate changes in the environment.
Accumulation of technological modernizations, destroying, adapting and many changes have
caused the design temporal and spatial diversity and complexity. More specifically, design
development in a building can be looked upon as adaptability and flexibility over time when it
comes to responding to changing environments. Chaos and many other nonlinear theories have
explained that extremely deterministic and linear processes are very fragile in maintaining
stability over a wide range of conditions, whereas chaotic and fractal systems can function
effectively over a wide range of different conditions, thereby offering adaptability and
flexibility. In this context, fractal geometry theory offers an alternative for sustainable
architectural design. This paper provides a bridge between building engineering and architecture
and fractal geometry theory.

As mentioned earlier, the results from new sciences are aimed at better understanding of nature,
being inconsistent with the purposes of these theories. It seems that few parts of these theories
have been gleaned and consequently appeared in the plans. Evans maintains that new forms of
geometry are always immediately appropriated from mathematics and used by architects
regardless of whether or not they are well understood. The danger of this practice is that if the
appropriated concept (in this case, fractal geometry) is poorly understood, it may destabilize the
theoretical foundations of the design and

such a naturalistic view should be respectful since they have understood the importance of nature
and the necessity for cooperation. The superficial attitude toward nature has caused many of the
works that do not meet the basic requirements of an architectural monument to be criticized by
some critics. We cannot assume that architecture’s purpose can be described simply from a
scientific or mathematical perspective; the enduring role of architecture in society is often linked
to its material presence, its historic significance, or its capacity to represent a set of otherwise-
intangible values .In fact, architecture has many aspects, among which, is that we should value

the material and spiritual needs of humans and pave the way for their evolution. Form and
geometry might be the only means to reach the goal. As a result, the best lesson that nature can
give us is to find our appropriate place in nature as an important principle. Furthermore, we
should learn the reason behind the natural forms in nature while negligence results in failure to
achieve the desired architecture goals.

The fractal geometry and the self-similarity are helping to define a new architectural models and
an aesthetic that has always lain beneath the changing artistic ideas of different periods, schools
and cultures.

We may summaries the three key messages to be found in this chapter as follows. First, the
diverse and often controversial definitions of fractal geometry that have previously been
developed in architecture need to be framed appropriately if they are to be taken seriously. For
example, using experiential descriptors to examine fractalesque qualities in a building may be
appropriate, provided that the author does not claim that the reasoning is scientifically based.
The most important factor is not necessarily whether a geometric, generative or phenomenal
view is taken, but rather that each author is clear about the perspective chosen, its purpose and
limitations. Thus, when working with fractal geometry, scholars and designers should be
especially careful to ensure that they describe how they are using it: as structure, as form, as
ornament or as inspiration. Second, fractal algorithms and other computational methods of
generating forms cannot be used to produce a complete, finished design for a building without
some input from the designer, either in the decision-making process or in the authoring stage.
Fractals-generated designs must be modified through the inclusion of a range of site or context-
based measures before they can become designs suitable for habitation. The vast and growing
body of examples of computer-evolved buildings all require sensible human input (either
through direct intervention or the authoring of parameters to ensure functional and social
conditions are met) to create architecture. Finally, architects should remember that there are two
completely different approaches to considering fractals in the context of design. The one covered
in the majority of this chapter involves fractal geometry and its associated imagery, which can
provide inspiration for designers. The second approach is about the way in which architecture
can be measured and analyzed using fractal dimensions. As the remainder of this book
demonstrates, every object, whether natural or synthetic, can have its formal complexity
measured or estimated.

FIG 1 https://davidjrodger.wordpress.com/2010/09/11/alien-worlds/
FIG 2 http://destiny104.info/trippy-galaxy-illuminati-wallpaper.html
FIG 3 https://in.pinterest.com/pin/478085316664021266/
FIG 4 https://www.scienceabc.com/nature/universe/milky-way-called-so-galaxy-name-milk-
FIG 5 https://www.canva.com/photos/tag/geometry/
FIG 6 https://www.oddee.com/item_96529.aspx
FIG 7 http://paulbourke.net/fractals/carpet/
FIG 8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantor_set
FIG 9 https://i.stack.imgur.com/OOzGf.gif
FIG 10 http://blog.zacharyabel.com/tag/koch-curve/
FIG 11
FIG 12 https://asknature.org/idea/comolevi-forest-canopy/
FIG 13 http://fractalfoundation.org/OFC/OFC-12-3.html
FIG 14 odur.let.rug.nl
FIG 15 CMSIM Journal
FIG 16 https://csdt.rpi.edu/culture/legacy/african/African_Fractals/culture3.html
FIG 17 homepages.rpi.edu
FIG 18 http://delhi-masterplan.com/zonal-plans-mpd-2021/land-use-plan/
FIG 19 http://geolines.ru/eng/publications
FIG 20 https://www.tiqets.com/en/barcelona-c66342/sagrada-familia-fast-track-p918256
FIG 21 https://www.trawell.in/madhya-pradesh/khajuraho/kandariya-mahadev-temple
FIG 22 https://www.researchgate.net/figure/A-tenement-house-in-the-historical-part-of-
FIG 23 https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Fractal-Models-in-Architecture-%3A-a-Case-
FIG 24
FIG 25 http://moeandirene.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-great-sacred-stupa-that-luang.htmlw
FIG 26 https://in.pinterest.com/pin/506021708126957702/
FIG 27 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box_counting
FIG 28

FIG 29 https://spatialexperiments.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/fractal-geometry-in-nature-and-