Category Archives: Students

Social Housing: Introducing spatial analysis to Andean Communities

“Architecture become a brainwashing work, the whole way of thinking has been already conditioned” (LEACH, 2011). The legacy of modern functionalism is recognized in the universal formulas applied to architecture. However; the next design agenda should be structured in the dynamic network of societies. The contemporary tasks require specific studies of the systems to generate coherent interactions.

Design answers should preserve the unique character and sense of the places. Generic solutions came from general assumption of the problems, which is not real. Social patterns and spatial process are interaction forces highly define by the environment and the time. For this reason the comprehension of how people work together with the form and function gives particular variations that should be organized and shaped by the architecture.

The aim of this paper * is to study how logics and functions of the space should be properly introduced before designing architectural strategies. The present research is based on the analysis of the cultural, social, economic and environmental configurations in the Andean unplanned settlements in Ecuador. These studies show that the mentioned settlements have complex systems of social and environmental interactions based on the cultural and economic configuration of the communities. The complexity of the spatial layouts constitutes the conceptual framework for architectural strategies. For this reason the spatial configuration analysis is an important tool to diagnostic how people conceive and work on living places. In the same way, the social and spatial image of the Andean settlements should be projected in social housing solutions and in the articulation plans between unplanned settlements and urban areas.


Also posted in Diana Raquel León Roman, IC.3 Theory Concepts | Comments closed

Hive mind architecture

Nowadays science has gone very far, there is an overload of information, for sure enough for new breakthroughs, but probably too much for one head. This information is kept in the heads of different people, scientists and professionals, and what you need to do is just add one to another, and probably a new outbreak will occur.
But of course the communication technologies also advance. Twenty years ago people, working on the same project, were tied to each other; they had to work in the same place at the same time, to be able to share their knowledge, ideas and to produce something. Then in 1991 WWW came and changed it all.

“The World-Wide Web was developed to be a pool of human knowledge, and human culture, which would allow collaborators in remote sites to share their ideas and all aspects of a common project”.
(Sir Tim Berners-Lee et al. 1994)

It gave people the chance to work together, being in the different parts of the globe, sometimes never even seeing each other in the real life.
Then, in 1998 an era of Open source software began. Open source concept gave birth to plenty prosperous software and web projects (e.g. Wikipedia, Linux OS) and at this stage proved itself to be very efficient.
Let’s take a look at the way people collaborate in architecture. They use internet to connect each other and share information, but do they reach the full capacity of the knowledge they can get? The state of the art of collaboration in architecture can be compared to the level of development of the collaboration used in web and software design somewhere between 1991 and 1998. But what if we made a step further? If the “hive mind”1 was used in architecture practice, it could become incredibly efficient, and lots of breakthroughs could happen.
Shouldn’t we try to catch up?

Bibliographic references:

  • Kelly, Kevin 1994. Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, & the Economic World. Addison Wesley, MA.
  • Kelly, Kevin 2008. Bottom is not Enough
  • Leach, Neil 2011. Swarm Intelligence.
Also posted in IC.3 Theory Concepts, Petr Novikov | Comments closed

Performance-oriented Materials in the mass Customization Era

Linn Tale Haugen, Oslo School of Architecture and Design, 2009

It is a fact that we have, for a long time, been moving away from the Fordist mass production system. In the past globalization’s effect segmented the production and assembly line in small parts and scattered them all around the world to follow raw materials and cheap labor. But today we are on the verge of a complete and utter revolution regarding the scale and way we produce commodities. It is the introduction of digital fabrication and computation in a completely different context that is bound to change the way we consume and fabricate goods in our cities.
It is most probable that in the nearby future every neighbor will have a small factory, the size of an apartment, where customers, or in other cases citizens, will be able to download designs of furniture, clothes, tools or whatever, customize them. or even generate them themselves and 3d print them, laser cut them or mill them, generally fabricate them exactly the way they want and need them.
Mass production will and has to give way to mass customization and a more conscious and smart use of materials. The new technologies of fabrication, the modern computational techniques and the customization of production offer design a unique opportunity to explore the possibilities of new materials or new techniques of using existing materials and utilizing material behaviour to achieve better-smarter performance.

Also posted in IC.3 Theory Concepts, Pavlos Bakagiannis | Comments closed

Digital morphogenesis in architecture: A toolbox for change

Architecture like art has followed throughout history a movement, a theoretical basis that had been dictating aesthetic and functionality guidelines to be followed, exploring different approaches to function and form, finding diverse solutions to the same problem, the built environment; independent to the use of the building these guidelines have been followed in order to fit a scheme of progress revolving economic, political, and social issues.

Nowadays, we have come to a time where aesthetics have been explored, but more importantly we need to focus on function, not as a movement, but as a global need of understanding that we have limited resources and architecture should directly respond to these needs prior to any other matter. Preserving and regenerating, using every resource in the most responsible manner that is possible with the help of a new set of tools and technology available to us, architecture should now respond to guidelines based merely on the environmental impact, the effect it has con society, and its role in shaping the city, today we find available a new toolbox, a new form of understanding, solving, visualizing that can help us achieve this responsible usage.

Also posted in IC.3 Theory Concepts, Maria Elena Amescua Dacasa | Comments closed

Human-centered design in context of architecture. New Input.


Research considers the term of Human-centered Design in context of architecture. Essentially this term is used in context of product design, it was invented for that context. One of the main features of it is concentration in people’s needs, minds. Design, oriented to people. Design, which involves them in, as a factor of influence. Concentration less on an object of design, but on its parameters, and the most important of the parameters is human.

In context of architecture this term can have even more output, different perspectives and variable decisions. How to understand and simulate the human-mind factor and include it in the container of standard functions for a building, open space or architecture in general? And how to invent a new kind of “architectural program” or “architectural concept”, which contains functions, based on analysis of peoples needs primarily and thinking of the ensuing influence on architectural expression?

Focusing on “the architectural program” in a critical approach to traditional conceptions of architectural programs (based on functionalism), and confront to emergent programs in architecture, that may be able to capture dynamic input, fluctuating flows may allow a tremendous shift on the way spaces are designed and used.

Bibliographic References

Deleuze, Gilles. 1980: Thousand plateaus, “Body without Organs”
Sullivan, Louis. 1896: The tall office building, artistically considered
De Landa, Manuel. 2002: On Deleuze’s “Body without Organs”
GE Healthcare global design. 2011. Adventure series

GE Healthcare global design. 2011. Children MR scanner designs.

Brown, Tim. 2009: Open lecture. London Oxford

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