: exploring new ways of delivering architecture : creating a design interface for sustainable and affordable houses

Naumann, S 2007, : exploring new ways of delivering architecture : creating a design interface for sustainable and affordable houses, Masters by Research, Architecture and Design, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title : exploring new ways of delivering architecture : creating a design interface for sustainable and affordable houses
Author(s) Naumann, S
Year 2007
Abstract The aim of this research project was to explore new ways of delivering architecture and the engagement of architects in everyday, affordable, sustainable housing in Australia.

This dissertation speculates on the possibility of a design system integrated with a design interface, where customers can self-configure or customise their home online with the help of embedded programs and an architect consultancy service. This can be seen as an alternative option for the homebuyer to the volume built, standard house. The design system displayed in this masters research was developed in three testing modes: speculative designs, site specific designs and user experiments. The system consists of modules and components that would have the embedded knowledge of the architect. They are intended to allow non professionals to self-arrange their homes. This was then integrated into a user interface. A construction system which allows prefabrication was then applied, but the main focus of the research was on the delivery of design and client engagement and not on the technicalities, or the realisation of a prefab system.

The aim was to combine as much of the quality and advantages of a one off architecturally designed house, in particular, the consideration of user and site needs with the affordability and predictability of a completely pre-designed volume builder house.

Digital design, production and marketing have the potential to make this challenge a success. This new digital way of delivering architecture could lead to houses that are more adaptable to different users and site needs than volume builder housing. The knowledge of the architect could be applied to ordinary housing, without the huge financial cost of the one off, architect designed house. The web based interface would allow customer interaction as tested in user experiments. The internet widens the possibility of the clients' involvement in the design process. These new online procurement processes are more instant and accessible and could result in an enlightened purchaser. There is the possibility to educate people, so informed decisions could be made. It could lead to houses with better orientation, engagement with new building materials, prefabrication technologies and the promotion of smaller houses resulting in more sustainable homes that are still reasonable in price.

This is a very complex issue in which different experts would have to work together. However, there is a real possibility for a design interface to open up a dialogue between the architect and the general public.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Architecture and Design
Keyword(s) Sustainable architecture -- Australia
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Created: Thu, 27 Jan 2011, 16:33:50 EST
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