Morphospace is a discrete or continuous representation of a set of existing or possible variations (this is mine).

Morphospace is a relevant notion here as a set of possibilities that can visualise and communicate design/layout versions for assessment or generation of heretofore unattempted implementations.

Tursch, Bernard. ‘Spiral Growth: The “Museum of All Shells” Revisited’. Journal of Molluscan Studies 63, no. 4 (1997): 547–54.

In his famous (if uncharacteristic) burst of lyricism at the end of the Origin Darwin described biodiversity as “endless forms most beautiful and wonderful”. It is easy to agree with him when one considers red-lipped batfish or pelagic holothurians. But are they endless, or are there limitations to the variety of forms — and if there are, where do they come from? Can morphological evolution be described by Brownian motion of a gas, slowly diffusing to fill up all the space of possible forms, or does it operate within a certain set of constraints? And if there are constraints, where do they come from? The concept of morphospace is an attempt to map out the products of evolution within a quantitative framework to try to shed light on these questions.

Budd, Graham E. ‘Morphospace’. Current Biology 31, no. 19 (2021): R1181–85.

Researchers have applied the notion of morphospace to non-geometrical entities, for example rituals.

Kapitány, Rohan, Christopher Kavanagh, and Harvey Whitehouse. ‘Ritual Morphospace Revisited: The Form, Function and Factor Structure of Ritual Practice’. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 375, no. 1805 (2020): 20190436.

There are precedents that construct unified morphospaces for natural and artificial entities, for example in application to naturally and artificially conscious and intelligent systems.

Arsiwalla, Xerxes D., Ricard Sole, Clement Moulin-Frier, Ivan Herreros, Marti Sanchez-Fibla, and Paul Verschure. ‘The Morphospace of Consciousness’. ArXiv:1705.11190 [Cond-Mat, Physics:Physics, q-Bio], 24 November 2018.



  1. (paleontology, biology) The graphical representation of the various ecological modes of life that an organism does or can occupy.
  2. (ecology, neologism) The ecological space that an organism occupies as part of its habitat.


  1. The organisational shape or layout of an ecosystem.

Recognition and Classification

Landform Classification in R

  1. Microtopography