Constructal theory is the view that the generation of “designedness” in nature is a universal (physics) phenomenon that can be based on a physics principle (the constructal law): “For a finite-size flow system to persist in time (to live) its configuration must change in time so that it provides greater and greater access to its currents”. This principle predicts and explains natural form across the board, from river basins to animal design, engineering and social dynamics. In this opening chapter we present the principle by using examples of vascular designs at large scales (urban traffic, water distribution), multi-objective flow configurations (heat and fluid flow, beams loaded mechanically and subjected to terrorist attack by fire), characteristic sizes of organs and distributed energy systems. Constructal theory is a new paradigm for how to pursue globalization, and how to engineer the proper balance between human flow architectures and the flow architectures of the environment.
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