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Daisy.world abril 10, 2009

Posted by christian saucedo in Technology research in surfaces.
Tags: ,

daisy world 00
Tipo.  Desarrollo tecnológico . superficie reactiva

Autor. Thomas Nicolai

Investigación y desarrollo. AAA. Arts and architectural applicationes

Año. 2007

Web. http://www.daisyworldproject.de/

Imágenes. http://www.daisyworldproject.de/

Video. http://www.daisyworldproject.de/

Vía. http://www.daisyworldproject.de/


daisy world 01  daisy world 02

daisy world 03  daisy world 04

daisy world 05


In considering/research of the self-regulating mechanism of life on the planet James Lovelock launched a computer simulation – called DAISY- WORLD. It’s a mathematical model for a simplified ecosystem.

James Lovelock programmed with his team of scientists a real time simulation – a virtual reflection/ copy of our real world including all cosmic, geophysical and biological parameters but existing of only two certain flower populations: black daisy and white daisy = DAISYWORLD.

The program, the artificial ecosystem is working coincidentally and by its own without scientific intervention or conducting.

The result was both astonishing and inspiring: 

The flower populations were growing and spreading over the earth’s surface or they were shrin- king and dying.

Life is always drifting.

It is effected by permanent fluctuation caused by changing conditions of the surroundings.

But their growth and their dying in the same way fundamentally effect the climate. Everything is interdependent, every part of the whole is in com- plex feedback loops interlinked to other parts of the whole. All relationships and interactions together as an entity finally make the ecosystem.

You can realize that the growth behavior of the populations follows every change of the surroundings and retroactively absorbs/ compensates these changes in their damaging influences.

The way of dying and growing finally stabilizes exactly those climatic conditions, which are necessary for the own survive. Of course this is relevant only for a limited scale of inner or outer environmental changes. 

The DAISY WORLD experiment proved in a simplified way the autonomous self-regulating matter of the network of life and it revealed it’s inner mechanism. 

It shows us that life is able to stand and defend destructive influences coming from outside or inside of the system. Life has a tendency/characteristics always to balance itself. 

DAISY WORLD evokes the understanding of the drifting/changing behavior of species and populations on earth as a precondition of a living selfpreserving ecosystem.

But it also shows the fragility of this dynamic balance – the system reacts very sensitively to every change of surrounding conditions caused by system-outside cosmic reasons or system-intern geophysical or biological/manmade reasons.

In so far the moral consequence of the discoveries of DAISYWORLD should be a foresighted awareness of the ecological context and a watchful duty of care towards nature.

To this idea the DAISY.WORLD arts project will offer an enlightening contribution.

Technological  . Realization 

My growing flower populations are orange and blue. 

I intend to place my DAISY.WORLD-simulation in vertical way on a spatial urban structure respectively to cover city space with my living flower landscape. The urban structure should have a quite extensive flat surface and should be outstan- ding visible from the surroundings.

Conceivable might be towers, building facades, house walls or extended spatial elements of bridges. 


 The artificial flower populations are growing over a scaffolding-matrix.

First I construct a steal scaffolding as carrying structure appropriate to the special surface of the urban structure (usual building site material).

On every junction point of the scaffolding is loca- ted an outlet branch of a pneumatic pipe network. The pipe net is always pressurised.

A compressor module is responsible for the right pressure, it is pumping, when the pressure level is falling below a desired value. The compressor has a pressure tank for buffering.

Via controllable outlet valves at the outlet bran- ches the pipe system can supply compressed air at any time and at any point of the matrix.

On the outlet valves respectively on the intersection points of the scaffolding will be fixed a pneu- matic flower/bud balloon-element. (see drawings)

It is a small hemispherical metal can/container with an air inlet opening (pipe outlet valve/flower inlet valve) and an air outlet opening with a second controllable valve (flower outlet valve).

Otherwise the pneumatic bud has a star shaped arranged number of openings. In each of these openings is fixed an inflatable rubber hose/round end. 

The rubber hoses are made from coloured, very robust and stretchable material.

They close hermetically with the container and expand to long tube arms, when the pressure inlet valve opens.  They shrink back to their original round end shape, when the pressure outlet valve opens. 



The pressure valves of each flower head are interlinked with a data network via an electrical bus system. 

By solely two impulses from the data network the terminal buds respectively the behaviour of the artificial flower landscapes can be conducted. 

1. pressure inlet valve open / inflating / blossom / growing / spreading. 

2. pressure outlet valve opens / contraction / closing down / dying / shrinking. 

The scaffolding matrix is a structure/network comparable with a computer screen. Each terminal bud is a binary pixel and can represent both states: 

1. ON / growing 

2. OFF / dying 

The controlling of my DAISY.WORLD will be established like Lovelock’s DAISYWORLD by an interactive real-time computer simulation. 

In a certain time frame the program drives along every intersection point of a virtual coordinate system according to the real flower network and calculates on the basis of positive/negative-growth -rules a current growth- parameter for every point/pixel. 

There is now a defined switching value responsible for the actual binary state of the pixel. The switching value defined as average growingambience/environment on which a flower would naturally begin to grow – is defined as 1. 

Is the growth-parameter for the actual measure cycle above 1 – that means ON for the pixel – is it below 1 – that means OFF.

The program compares always the former with the actual growth-parameter and sends in case of indicated change of state of the pixel/flower a positive (growing) or a negative (shrinking) impulse towards the respective pressure valve of the real flower network. 

The program calculates the growth-parameter for both species (orange and blue flowers) because on every intersection point of the matrix are fixed two pneumatic buds – an orange and a blue one. Every point of the virtual and the real matrix can be occupied by each of both species.

In so far our matrix intersection points have 2×2 theoretical opportunities: 

orangeOFF/blueOFF, orangeON/blueOFF, orangeOFF/blueON, orangeON/blueON, 

The growth-rules result from: 

A – logical conditions/events/incidents 

B – indicated natural environmental conditions (indicated by sensors) 

C – assumed natural-equivalent environmental conditions (without sensors, only programmed) 

D – assumed intrasystem events/incidents/behaviour.

This events/incidents determine positive or negative growth-coefficients/growing-conditions (GC) for the growth-parameter-calculation. 

pos.GC = multiplier > 1 = the growth-parameter increases = better growing-conditions; 

neg. GC = multiplier < 1 = the growth-parameter decreases = worse growing conditions 

Natural environmental events/incidents were detected by house automation sensors. 

Data transfer between computer and actuators/ flower heads respectively sensors will be established by DMX data network for media facedes.



general rules: 

1. spatial exclusion rule (A)

Where a blue flower grows can not grow an oran- ge one respectively complementary. 

2. light/shadow rule (B)

Light areas of the real matrix get pos.GC compa- red to darker areas. 

3. day/night rule (C)

One flower species gets pos. GC at day compared to the other. The other species grows a bit better at night. (a way a to accelerate and to dramatise the movement) 

4. sun-position rule (C) 

According to the ecliptic path of the sun transmitted to the unfolded matrix – pixels closer to the sun position get pos.GC compared to pixels in a farer distance. 

5. tide rule (C) 

One species gets pos. GC according to rising tide the other according to the low tide. 

6. group rule (D) 

ON-pixels in groups (two-dimensional connected pixel fields) have a higher resistibility (= pos. GC) than isolated pixels. 

7. inland rule (D) 

In the centre of group areas neg. GC’s doesn’t ef- fect as much as on the edges of the group areas. 

8. windstorm rule (B) 

Very strong wind generally degrades the growth. (neg. GC for all ON-pixels)

Directional growth means the group tends to expand in a certain direction. (pixels on the edge in acertain direction get pos. GC) 

9. light wind rule (B, D)

Light wind benefits directional growth depending on wind direction, force, duration as well the width of the group rectangular to the wind direction. 

10. strong wind rule (B, D)

If the wind blows stronger, the whole group/isle tends to drift downwind. (directional growth downwind, but pixels on the opposite edge of the sprea- ding direction get neg. GC) 

11. wind finger rule (B, D)

If the wind blows stronger, single lines of pixels can break out of the group (pos. GC linear downwind) and sometimes tear off. (front pixels get higher GC in opposite to the rear pixels of the line) 

12. networking rule (D)

Groups of the same species tend to grow towards each other in pixel lines in case the distance is not too far. If they could touch (connect their pixel lines), the pixel lines grow in width. 

border rules: 

13. stalemate rule (A)

In case of straight borderline of two species: Only if the growth-parameter of a pixel is fallen below the switching value for the existing flower (flower dies) the field can be entered by an other species. 

In so far usually the species have equal strength and resistance.


No single flower can eliminate a flower of an other species. 

14. wedge advance (D) In case of uneven borderline of two species:

As more wedge-shaped a formation of individuals confronts an other group – the more the individuals of the other group which lay opposite the wedge head have to retreat. 

In so far wedge shape defines a kind of displacement competition according to the sharpness of the wedge. (defensive individuals hit by the wedge head get neg. GC) 

enclave rules: 

15. breakthrough rule (D)

On positive conditions an enclosed group of indi- viduals tries to breakthrough on the shortest dis- tance from the surrounding body of hostile species. 

In so far the pixels near to the outer edge of the surrounding group get pos. GC. (directional growth of the enclosed group toward the nearest edge) 

The breakthrough area of the former enclosing group is weakened and get neg. GC. 

16. digestion rule (D) 

In case of no positive conditions for the enclosed group – they get digested. (individuals on the outer edge of the enclosed group get neg. GC) 

The enclave shrinks until it disappears.

(working status, will be discussed, completed and specified)directional growth rules:



On the basis of the groth-rules the computer simulation calculates the dynamic growth behaviour of two artificial flower populations. Their pattern of behaviour respectively their character is based on the behaviour in the real world. Both artificial species act and interact similarly like living populati- ons in nature do. 

Also in my artistic DAISY.WORLD simulation an interaction of species with themselves and with the environment happens – all factors/elements are interlinked in feedback loops to a complex network of interaction – an entire ecosystem. 

The people who watch the simulation down on the streets will obviously realize: a permanent DRIFT, a spreading and retreat, an incessant self-balancing to adapt to every outer change – finally the idea of assertiveness and the will to survive without intervention of a Supreme Power.


(Probably my experiment on it’s own will reveal some new unexpected patterns or insight into nature of things.) 

For the viewers which perceive the colourful performance widely along the River Thames, espe- cially at night they will have a marvellous impression – wandering fields of flowers in the city sky. 

Two artificial flower landscapes overgrow a human habitat. Nature turns back to man and shows his origin.

The drifting/fluctuant character of our existence as a constituent of our changing ecosystem will be felt by the observers. 

The installation sharpens the awareness for the fragility of the balance in which we live.

It wakes an understanding for that the ecosystem doesn’t stop in front of the doors of our civilization, but that we are a part of it. 

We realize that our massive intervention in the complex processes of nature can’t be without con- sequence. 

It’s a drifting world we live on. We are passengers. We can’t force the planet to our advantage without considering the global consequences!

Es ist eine driftende Welt, in der wir leben. Wir sind Passagiere. Wir können die Erde nicht zu unserem Vorteil zwingen, ohne an die globalen Auswirkungen zu denken! 

Thomas Nicolai / AAA. / Jan.2007



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