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Architecture, Space and Information in Constructions Built by Humans and Social Insects: a Conceptual Review

Ireland, Tim, Garnier, Simon (2018) Architecture, Space and Information in Constructions Built by Humans and Social Insects: a Conceptual Review. Philosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences, 373 (1753). Article Number 20170244. ISSN 0962-8436. E-ISSN 1471-2970. (doi:10.1098/rstb.2017.0244) (KAR id:67403)


The similarities between the structures built by social insects and by humans have led to a convergence of interests between biologists and architects. This new, de facto interdisciplinary community of scholars needs a common terminology and theoretical framework in which to ground its work. In this conceptually oriented review paper, we review the terms “information”, “space” and “architecture” to provide definitions that span biology and architecture. A framework is proposed on which interdisciplinary exchange may be better served, with the view that this will aid better cross fertilisation between disciplines, working in the areas of collective behaviour and analysis of the structures and edifices constructed by non-humans; and to facilitate how this area of study may better contribute to the field of architecture. We then use these definitions to discuss the informational content of constructions built by organisms and the influence these have on behaviour, and vice versa. We review how spatial constraints inform and influence interaction between an organism and its environment, and examine the reciprocity of space and information on construction and the behaviour of humans and social insects.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1098/rstb.2017.0244
Uncontrolled keywords: Space, Information, Architecture, Perception, Social Systems
Subjects: N Visual Arts > NA Architecture
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Depositing User: Tim Ireland
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2018 18:47 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 17:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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