Author of An Evolutionary Architecture, 1995
An Evolutionary Architecture was published in January 1995 to coincide with an exhibition of the same name in the Architectural Association (both made possible by grants from the Arts Council of England). The book concentrates on the work up to 1995 of Diploma unit 11 run by John and Julia Frazer (with Pete Silver and Guy Westbrook) between 1989 and 1996, but includes formative work by the author dating back to his diploma prize winning project at the AA in 1969 and related research work at Cambridge University.
The book investigates the fundamental form-generating processes in architecture considering architecture as a form of artificial life, and proposing a genetic representation in a form of DNA like code-script which can then be subject to developmental and evolutionary processes in response to the user and the environment. The aim of an evolutionary architecture is to achieve in the built environment the symbiotic behaviour and metabolic balance that are characteristic of the natural environment. The interest is not a superficial zoomorphic analogy concerned with looking like an organism but a fundamental concern with operating like an organism and in a direct analogy with the underlying design process of nature.
The book also proposes a fundamental change in the role of the architect… "The role of the architect here, I think, is not so much to design a building or city as to catalyse them: to act that they may evolve." Gordon Pask in his Foreword to the book.
The book received excellent reviews, was 5 star rated on the Amazon US website, and has been widely commented upon by others in books, lectures and scientific papers. It is now regarded as a seminal work.
An Evolutionary Architecture has been out of print for some time and fetches high prices on the rare book market.
However you can download a pdf version from the AA website
You are welcome to download and copy this material so long as every instance, illustration or quotation bears the acknowledgement:
"From John Frazer, An Evolutionary Architecture, Architectural Association publications, Themes VII, copyright John Frazer and the Architectural Association 1995."
However you may not reproduce the work in part or whole for publication without the permission of the copyright holders.