This thesis investigates the morphogenetic capacities of material systems far from equilibrium and attempts to draw from them a set of architectural principles. The approach taken toward materiality here is not based on structural performance or sensual quality; rather, it looks to processes by which systems of matter and energy spontaneously develop local order, persisting by continuously adapting their configurations in response to shifting forces. From an introductory discussion of the formation of a familiar but surprisingly complex architectural material, granite, a number of simpler systems will be described in order to elucidate individual mechanisms. A design project integrating several aspects of material systems thinking is then developed, in this case, a proposal for a dairy farm as an element within an extended infrastructural/agricultural framework. The project develops form and program synergistically, creating a system of linked material and energy flows coupling the production of food and fuel.