Friday, August 10, 2007

A Synthetic Vernacular

A group of mainly Chinese students studying in the Netherlands at Berlage Institute under Peter Trummel have just finished an impressive study for a new housing solution for China.

Starting from the traditional courtyard house-type, they have extended its form using software that can handle dynamic geometry. This technique - associative design - has the ability to generate a wide range of courtyard house designs to meet the multifarious requirements of project, the site, as well as the users. You have to see the video to appreciate the meaning of associative geometry.

Technical approaches to housing problems have suffered from top-down rigidity. Technologists always look for the best answer; but in real life, people are different, and each location on a site has its very specific parameters. Mass housing has suffered when it was dominated by engineers who saw it as a problem of the bricks and mortar: one solution with hideous consequences is the use of repetitive standard plans. In fact the focus should be on people, and when you do this, the solution becomes more varied.

With associative design, the students have outlined a strategy for mass customization, making the technological approach more humane.

They call the result a ‘synthetic vernacular’. I wonder what Sishir Chang (see Living Together in Singapore) would say about this!

I'm dreaming about tessellation on steroids.

Links: Gallery Shiyun;
Download original MP4 video 48 minutes 156MB at:
Associative Design @ Berlage

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Anonymous said...

Hi Tesselar! Nice to discover your blog - interesting stuff. One thing though - please don't hotlink the berlage movie, but point your readers to to watch the movie there. At least give some credit if you deeplink to a 150MB file.

Thanks and keep on blogging - Toms

Mazlin Ghazali said...

Thanks for the advice. Point taken. Please come again.