In its purist form, adaptive architecture is simply a set system that adjusts its structure to accommodate for changing resources and emergent form factors. A barrier exists between the traditional design process and the interaction with its defined solution. Adaptive architecture is making its way into all facets of society including web development in the form of fluid or responsive website design.
The device dependant Web has brought us from early iterations of the personal computer to our more current devices such as smart phones, tablets, and TVs. This, coupled with future form factors not yet realized, has brought forth a new way of thinking about how computations aim to present data in a much more fluid manner. Adaptive architecture is on the horizon and we have just scratched the surface of what it might lead to. Responsive web design is the infancy of adaptive architecture and will pave the way for how we will think about and interact with the web.
Responsive website design can help alleviate the stresses of developing for a multitude of current and emergent form factors and operating systems. Who knew the iPad was going to be as big as it is or that tablets and smart phones would surpass PCs in web access? Have you thought about how your customers will interact with your brand via the Oculs Rift or Google Glass? Most everyone (including us) had to play catch-up to address how the new devices presented their information and more importantly their brand. By no means does the current state of responsive web design address all the inherent infrastructure limitations and/or corporate governance issues, but it does help us understand and design toward an ever changing digital landscape.