Designing With Rules

We had our first review of our project with outside critics. We presented to Renee Cheng, Blaine Brownell, Andrea Johnson, Gayla Lindt and John Comazzi (our advisor). Our [100 word] synopsis of the project is below.

"DESIGNING WITH RULES: DEVELOPING A SYSTEMATIC PROCESS FOR RENOVATING THE DUNCHON-DONG SUPERBLOCK HOUSING COMPLEX IN SOUTH KOREA

The housing demand that came as a result of the massive growth of Seoul during the mid-20th century was primarily met through the construction of high density superblock housing complexes that were designed with no regard to context, safety or identity. Plans for redevelopment of these complexes repeat these same mistakes. The ubiquitous nature of the problem necessitates a design intervention that can be rapidly developed and deployed, which can only be delivered through a parametric process. We aim to create a toolkit that architects can use to design locally sensitive interventions that re-purpose and re-imagine these buildings and their role within their context."

Our process for the project has been to tackle the problem from a variety of different fronts; study the urban condition of Seoul (and also superblock housing projects around the world), research pedagogically important collective housing projects around the world, define values from those projects, and develop a series of tools that evaluates and incrementally modifies the geometry of the site with respect to those values (the above image being one of the twelve different parametric tools that were developed).

The feedback from the review was generally positive. The reviewers all seemed to think that the problem was a worthwhile one to tackle. One question that was brought up had to do with answering the question, "how do we know that we're creating something better?" It's easy to hide behind the idea that we're creating a series of 'agnostic' tools that will do what is asked of them and won't make a value judgement. I think our next step in the process is to start tying together these different tools that have been developed in isolation and use them to start creating an architecture that we can evaluate (both qualitatively and quantitatively).