Genetic Architecture

The re-evolution of the generation of architecture in the 21st century market

So much noise …

The world is spinning faster than ever, and crises, changes, and revolutions are linked together without a commercial break between them. This has affected our way of living, communicating, and working ... and has temporarily reflected, or perhaps not, on our beloved architecture. In this relatively young century, there have been changes in the residential sector, with the appearance of a new range of names in English and a progressive blurring of its boundary with the tertiary industry of offices, which may have been pronounced dead before their time due to the massive development of telecommunications and technology. The only thing that has remained unchanged is the hardware of human beings, which is the same as when they painted on the walls of caves.

The fast way of conveying information means that any change immediately becomes global. With so much noise—capable of moving the masses like a school of fish—it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish trends from fashion. These various changes have shifted our focus, perhaps temporarily, from our major global challenge of mitigating climate change. I’m sorry to say that, although there is a growing awareness of this, we are not reacting at the speed and depth this challenge demands.


The park extends into the shopping center and offices, reducing the impact of the project and becoming the roots of the complex. Image © Morph Estudio


Vintage urban planning

Urban planning is like the stars in the sky; we see the light they projected decades ago. Its management takes so long that it’s already obsolete when it finally sees the light. Current plans will hardly consider the rules that stem from the new paradigm of respect for the environment. Aware of this, in our urban developments we try to anticipate future trends, proposing systems for the reuse of water resources, low carbon footprint asphalting, trigeneration, and energy balancing systems ... and paradoxically, we also try to rescue the good things cities used to have that have been lost with the serial development of their suburbs.


99% of the surface area needed by European cities is already built; in Spain, there are 25,000,000 homes, and 100,000 are built every year, 0.4%. We’ve made many mistakes in urban planning with many obsolete buildings as far as energy efficiency is concerned.

Urban planning layouts are challenging to redirect in a full democracy, but it’s possible to make surgical interventions to improve the design. Likewise, there’s room for improvement in the carbon footprint to be used in subsequent maintenance operations. Another aspect that we can improve is the microclimatic impact of shared spaces.


Architecture generated by artificial intelligence from a design by Morph Estudio. Image © Morph Estudio

Energy retrofitting of constructed buildings encounters another problem, given the prevailing ownership structure and regulations that facilitate opposition to such change. The slowness of society is not alleviated by the rules, which also lag behind, facilitating the use of systems in large cities that pollute and contribute to global warming.


Having observed the slow reaction of the homeowners' associations to rehabilitate buildings despite the public aid provided for this purpose; the lack of a forceful response from regulations; the buyer's spending ceiling that leaves no room for investment in the desired sustainability, which is not understood as necessary; the separation between developer and property that even causes measures with a return to fail. It’s paradoxical, but apart from some minority idealists, the ones driving specific sustainability measures are the evil funds. Investors and asset owners see the advantage of their efficiency and understand it as a guarantee of quality.


A tower generated from the concept of genetic spiral. Image © Morph Estudio

In upcoming episodes…

"Today's youngsters love luxury. They are ill-mannered, disdain authority, disrespect their elders, and gossip when they should be working. Young people no longer stand up when their elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, brag in society, devour desserts at the dinner table, cross their legs and tyrannize their teachers.” This was said by Socrates 2,500 years ago, our parents said it, and it will be said by the Gen Zers when they start to grow gray hair.

Each generation has sweetened its memories and put the magnifying glass on the defects of those who come after them ... I believe humanity is improving, and societies are producing recurring advances that make them increasingly fair and respectful of individuals and the environment. The problem is that the changes we must face are much more urgent than we think, and it’s a shame because there are means to undertake them much more emphatically.

I believe the fight against climate change will become the core of our societal goals. Likewise, the need to enable effective ways to combat it will make respect for the environment cease to be just a phrase. Rather, it will be materialized in vigorous actions that will allow us to return our planet to a state more similar to the one it had when we came down from the trees to start walking on it.

Main image: Tower designed generatively by Morph Estudio based on the idea of ​​a tree in the proposal made with BIG (left tower) and Toyo Ito (right tower) in Málaga. Image © Morph Estudio