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[eleni economidou] 2013



Volume 2 M.Arch 5th year

3102 ]uodimonoce inele[



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[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism



© Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412

MSA MArch 2013 [Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

CCCP Portfolio


[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

Economidou E.

Eleni Economidou _MArch Master of Architecture 2013 Manchester School of Architecture University of Manchester Manchester Metropolitan University Year 5

T: +447598942804 E:

© Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412


MSA MArch 2013



[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism


MArch Master of Architecture 2013 - 5th year works Vol. 1 - Data Derivé | Fall 2012 | Studio 4.1 Vol. 2 - CCCP | Winter 2012 | Technology B: 16180002(B) Vol. 3 - Creature - Feature | Winter 2012 | Studio 4.2 Vol. 4 - Prototypes and Assemblies | Spring 2013 | Studio 4.3 Vol. 5 - Concrete Testing Journal | Spring 2013 | MMMC | instructors: Nick Dunn, Richard Brook, Vikram Kaushal |

© Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412


MSA MArch 2013


Technology B: 16180002(B) college propositions


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[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism


MArch Master of Architecture 2013 - 5th year works Data Derivé | Fall 2012 | Studio 4.1 Creature - Feature | Winter 2012 | Studio 4.2 Prototypes and Assemblies | Spring 2013 | Studio 4.3 | instructors: Nick Dunn, Richard Brook, Vikram Kaushal |

© Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412

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MSA MArch 2013


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[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

contents: 0.0 - Introduction 0.1 - Methodology 1.0 - [Re} defining the way we live

1.1 - A climate in change

1.2 - Indirect implications: Food disruption

1.3 - Direct implications: Cradle to grave cycle

2.0 Our proposal: What about waste then?

2.1 - Cradle to Cradle cycle

2.2 - Mass customisation and the manufacture module

2.3 - Methods of assembly

2.4 - Current design regulations / standards

14 15 16 16 17 18 19 19 20 22 23

3.0 Case study: Hawkins Brown, Hilden Grange Preparatory School, Kent


4.0 Conclusion

25 26 27

Bibliography List of images

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MSA MArch 2013

Fig.0.0: Polar bears are not dying out.

0.0 introduction Climate change, along with resource depletion, population increase and urbanisation, is the greatest challenge that our society faces in the twenty-first century. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified that looking at the physics of the atmosphere is not sufficient in sustaining the planet’s environment, resources and biodiversity: it is up to every individual, every industry and every nation to respond to this challenge. It is therefore important to consider how our way of life distresses the environment in the coexistence CCCP

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between the human and non-human worlds. The drive towards sustainability in the built environment thus becomes something we cannot ignore. With global population gradually reaching 7 billion, with particular focus on city life, the standards of living have dropped down due to space limitation. Although environmental requirements for project briefs have increased since 1990s and the introduction of BREEAM standards for non-domestic buildings, the role of the architect has become pivotal in responding to environmental,

social and economic requirements within the construction process of the built environment. Tackling climate change to ensure that economic and social activity prosper in the future, requires a new professional ethos where architects must acknowledge both integrated and environmentally friendly proposals. It becomes imperative to not only consider ways in which buildings are designed in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions but also how they are constructed, managed and used.

[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism



In accordance with our CCCP presentation, we initiated our research trying to identify the problem behind how we live today. As primary bibliography we looked at the suggested Technology texts in terms of: ’’The revenge of Gaia’’ by James Lovelock, ‘’Hungry city: How food shapes our lives’’ by Caroline Steel, ‘’Waste equals food in Cradle to cradle’’ by W. McDonough as well as the United Nations Environmental Program. Since our goal was to present [Remap we then moved on to some of the texts we looked at in our atelier in terms of ‘’The turning point of a building’’ by Wachs-

mann, ‘’Mass Customisation and the Manufacture model’’ by Timberlake et al and ‘’Design to Self- Assembly’’ by Tibbits. The main focus is on the [re] evaluated role of the architect, in the new technological era, as the figure that process the tools to influence the social aspect of sustainable living, while looking at how our environment is being currently built to accommodate for an ever growing population. We also referred to The Green Overlay to the RIBA Outline Plan of Work along with the RIBA climate change tool-kits and the Sustainability Hub area of the RIBA website in terms of references to case studies,

blogs, videos and best practice references. In terms of [re] viewing the architects role within the construction industry, we researched mass customisation and self-assembly as a new building technique and how they could be implemented in current building standards. With the aim of substantiating our research and position, a case study exemplifying our findings on the implementation of fabrication techniques in the construction of buildings, solidifying and summarising the propositions of the previous presentation was selected. © Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412

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MSA MArch 2013


[re]:defining the way we live

Fig.1.1: The trend in global average temperatures since 1860.

a climate in change

Climate change occurs due to a series of processes involving a disruption in the balance of carbon in the atmosphere. A recent report by the IPCC confirms that global greenhouse gas emissions increased by 70% and carbon dioxide emissions by 80% between 1970 and 2004. An increase of man- made greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane) due to extraction of resources and manufacture of products, along with construction processes, travel within the built environment and worldwide economic growth, trap sun radiation, warming the atmosphere and the earth’s surface and causing more longwave radiation. As a consequence of CCCP

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this warming process, glaciers and polar ice caps begin to melt, which leads to an increase in the proportion of incoming solar radiation.

Almost half of this came from energy use in buildings, with average emissions per dwelling being around six tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. (Defra, 1990-2020)

Albeit, there are climate change models and we could to a certain point predict climate, unlike weather, these do not show unpredicted extremes such as flood events, fresh water abundance and storms that contribute to global warming. Thus, a rise in Gaia’s temperature as little as 4°C would be enough to destabilize tropical rainforests causing them to melt (Hadley centre, Exeter).

Each person in the UK is responsible for around 10 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year. In order to ensure a common future for all living organisms, it would be necessary to achieve a sustainable level of GHG emissions on a worldwide scale. In response, architects therefore, need to understand better climate change in terms of its direct relationship to building design and construction strategies and its indirect relationship to current consumerism trends in modern society.

In 2003, carbon dioxide emissions associated with energy use in the UK were approximately 560 million tonnes.

[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism


[re]:defining the way we live

indirect implications: food The way to participate and save Gaia lies in changing the approach of life one has in general. One of the main things that shape our lives nowadays is indeed consumerism – of energy,resources and mainly food. Due to overpopulation, cities now need more resources than ever, leading to the absorption of all natural resources. Food becomes the main requisite resource as well as the central source of waste. Production and consumption are all processes happening simulta-

Diagram.1.2: Hu L. P. (2012) Food chain disruption - [Diagram]

chain disruption

neously. According to Steel (2009) almost 50% of the total amount of food thrown away in the UK comes from our homes. We throw away 7.2 million tonnes (comparable to approximately 7 Wembley stadiums) of food and drink from our homes every year in the UK, and more than half of this is food and drink we could have eaten. There is no replacement of nutrients whatsoever but rather disposal generating even more land fields. This is what ecologists refer to when talking about a cradle to grave cycle.

Food consumption, on the other hand, increases carbon emissions, as the elite groups (food controllers) control the food supply and chose to purchase cheap products from abroad whereas most of them can be grown locally thus reducing cost and pollution. If every human being would stop wasting food that could have been eaten, the benefit to the planet could be the equivalent of taking 1 in 5 cars off the road.

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MSA MArch 2013


Diagram.1.3: Economidou E. (2012) Cradle-to-Grave cycle - [Diagram]

[re]:defining the way we live

direct implications: cradle Food of course is not the only problem. Urbanisation and the industrial revolution led to appropriation of Greenfield and agricultural land. The technological era, on the other hand, led to the production of products that do not biodegrade safely polluting the atmosphere. In everyday life it is now considered normal to throw away all sorts of waste: from inappropriate use of materials within the construction industry up to energy deficiency due to a signifiCCCP

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to cradle cycle

cant increase in energy appliances in our homes. City life has turned into a machine that keeps eating up all natural resources without ever replacing them. Gaia has managed to survive so far and, like every other living organism, has the ability to regenerate itself. The question though remains whether we would be participating in this regeneration or we would be extinct?

[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

Diagram.2.1: Economidou E. (2012) Cradle-to-Cradle cycle - [Diagram] Diagram.2.1: Economidou E. (2012) Cradle-to-Cradle cycle - [Diagram]

2.1 our proposition: What about waste? cradle-to-cradle cycle As a studio, [Re]_map is concerned with the ownership of space, its perception demarcation and [mis] use in the contemporary city and how ‘’wasted spaces’’ could be [re] thought in the digital era. The proposed position for dealing with waste is based on McDonough et al (2009) Cradle to cradle cycle. We [re]consider the role of the architect as not only the one who proposes a design but also as that same master builder that would be able to use the methods and tools evolved by our civilization in a way that it becomes the foundation towards new attitudes.

According to McDonough et al (2009) Cradle to cradle refers to two types of metabolisms the technological one and the biological one. In the Technical cycle, humans use products and then return them to the factories where they get disassembled in order to reassemble again and produce high quality end products. In the Biological Cycle, people use nature’s products, consume them and then discard them back to nature where they get bio-degraded.

In order to apply this principle

there needs to be a shift, not only in the way societies live but also in the way people construct the environmentthen there could be a truly sustainable life. For the possibility of the latter it is possible that the new technological movement serves as a reference, as it expresses the coming epoch rather than one that refers to the past. Architects would need to reconsider how they construct buildings in order to be able to plan a future as any type of build environment, featured by free space, made of technologically enhanced resources and such that respects the natural environment. © Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412

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MSA MArch 2013

Fig.2.2.1: McKay I. (2012) - use of prefabricated units to convert a one bedroom flat into a 4 bedroom flat

2.2 our proposition: What about waste? mass customisation and the manufacture model So how could we revert to a Cradle to Cradle cycle and where does the construction process fit into this new era? Where do we fit in as Architects? Our vision, per se, is that architecture should be [re] fabricated, embracing new technologies and methods of making. This does not refer to craft in the sense of the present use of construction trades, so much as to a turning to manufacturing architecture - where buildings could be built like ships and cars in fabrics: simulated, modularised and CCCP

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assembled. Currently, there is a separation between the design profession and the construction industry. The industry faces a fragmentation from the supply chain through to procurement. We suggest that architects should be the ones to not only propose designs but also the ones to ‘’fill in the gap’’ and propose how the design is to be done. We envision a, what Timberlake et al (2010) refer to as, cultural production where the client determines what the options will be by participating

in the flow of the design process from the very start. Such a building technique would allow for precision and quick on site assembly as opposed to in - situ building, while leaving space for customization and special user fitted requirements within the design. We are to abandon mass production as “the ideal of the early 20th century” and look at mass customisation which ‘is the recently emerged reality of the 21st century, and argue that this is cultural production rather than the making of industrial outputs.

[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

Fig.2.2.2: Biased Chains: MIT 2010.

2.2 our proposition: What about waste? mass customisation and the manufacture model Looking further into the mass customisation process and the efficiency side of it, we came across self-assembly structures. Tibbits (2012) argues how today’s processes of assembly could be fundamentally revised by looking at biological systems of complexity, information capacity and assembly instructions. The role of computers in designing the environment has been coupled with the notion of utopia for many years; however, this situation has undergone radical transformation. It is nowadays possible to create and test models of structures that would construct themselves using the same principles as the

natural structures. If we look at the current state of manufacturing skyscrapers take 2.5 years assembly time with 500000 – 1million parts, a space shuttle requires 5 years assembly time with 2.5 million parts, but what about the natural systems? We have 2 million different types of possible proteins in the human body (200/300 proteins) which can assemble in 10 000 million nano seconds per protein. DNA consists of 3 billion base pairs that could be replicated in roughly an hour. Tibbits (2012) continues that such systems are far more complex but extremely efficient in terms of energy,

hardly ever make mistakes and repair themselves for longevity. It would be therefore for Architecture to focus further on modular structures, causing our machines and buildings to be self-assembling, replicating and repairing themselves. Buildings essentially could have the potential to undergo giant scale modular assembly processes just like cars, ships and planes. If these were then translated into the build environment, architects could acquire the ability to use the detail so as to reinforce concepts and challenge their current design approach, while being more efficient and sustainable about the suggested end product. © Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412

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MSA MArch 2013

Diagram.2.3: Atanassova A. (2012) Assembly process - [Diagram]

2.3 our proposition: What about waste? methods of assembly Through scrutinizing the relationships between programme and product behaviour, Tibbits (2012) proposes direct embedding of assembly information into raw materials that would allow the following to assemble themselves.

a simple sequence of instructions defined by an algorithmic description), programmable parts (or small joints that would be able to host at least 2 states), corresponding to the instruction sequence, force of activation (the force or energy required to get a structure from one state to another) and error correction and redundancy to ensure that we build accurate structures that are not prone to constant failure.

These materials are, supposedly, to be capable of self-repair for longevity, self-replication, reproduction and growing or mutation in new structures. This could be realised in a simple al- By means of applying the gorithm, characterised by 4 steps: following to a building structure dedecoded assembly sequence (or sign could therefore evolve into a CCCP

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more efficient tool in constructing things for a relatively small time scale, while ensuring that they are constructed from re-usable materials, which, once assembled, would have a larger lifespan, reducing the need for change and adaptation. If we were to embrace such principles within the construction industry then we would effectively respond to the needs of a constantly growing population without compromising the needs of Gaia, in a sustainable co-existence.

[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

2.3 our proposition: What about waste? current design standards and regulations A process of that sort, nevertheless, would require regulation and standardisation. As we stand now, since 2002 UK Building Regulations legislation has introduced a series of measures and design guides with the aim of making architects and designers aware of minimum requirements that need to be considered in terms of planning for climate change. These featured are not limited to: Standards for reducing energy and CO2 emissions in buildings, Targets for reduced water consumption in buildings, controls on harmful substances, more strictly defined ventilation provisions. Wider environmental targets have also been included in project briefs and planning conditions such as BREEAM (Building

Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), the Code for Sustainable Homes, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), SKA (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, system for office fit outs and retail projects) and since 2010 also Design for Life standards encouraging design of neighbourhoods for long term habitation, reducing social mobility and accommodating for an ever growing population. As per our vision and in relation to the latter, we recognise the need for the introduction of further guidelines and principles that would encourage architectural practices to take an integrated approach in terms of the design team involved in projects. Such approach would allow for

further involvement in the fabrication and construction process with means of facilitating and perfecting the production chain, while remaining cost efficient and environmentally friendly. As architects, we are involved in a sector of the national economy that is responsible for between 40% and 50% of UK national emissions. (RIBA Climate Change Policy, 2006).We believe that if guidelines for applying mass customisation in terms of manufacturing processes in design projects are to be introduced in correlation with the existent Part L Building regulations and the Climate Change Policy then it would be possible to meet the Carbon Zero emissions target earlier than 2050. Š Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412

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MSA MArch 2013

3.0 case study Hawkins Brown, Hilden Grange preparatory school, Kent

Fig.3.0: Building with Cross Laminated Timber.

In conclusion, with the intention of demonstrating the efficiency of the proposed principles, we decided to look at Hawkins Brown’s Hilden Grange Preparatory School in Kent as an epitome of the implementation of mass customization within architectural schemes.

The project features factory pre-cut cross laminated timber panels, which enable quick positioning and fixture on site, with all windows and fixings also pre-cut and thus immediately visible.

the material. Such panels could be essentially cut in any shape before delivery to site.

In this case implying a mass production process within the design delivery, takes advantage of efficiency and This technique allows for perfection of the scheme while the entire frame of the school leaving place for creativity in The case study is re- to be constructed in less than terms of architectural design. viewed purely as an example 8 weeks, reducing on-site time and is by no means exhaustive. and cost, as well as the carbon footprint due to the qualities of CCCP

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[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism


Fig.4.0: Stop global warming poster


(Brundtland commission, UN re- novations in the construction port 1987). processes in order to secure a better future for all humanity. Such development is envisioned through integration of appropriate technology, which Hence, it’s up to us to would act as a catalyst aiding live towards a sustainable de- ecology. velopment, a “development The main objective here that meets the needs of the present without compromis- becomes a future where archiing the ability of future genera- tects and designers would imtions to meet their own needs.” plement current technology in Subsequently climate change is indeed one of the great problems which torment our society happening and it is happening now.

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[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

bibliography Gething, B. (2011) ‘Green Overlay to the RIBA Outline Plan of Work‘, Unknown place of publication: Royal Institute of British Architects,[Online] [Accessed on 9th February 2013] Available from: Glynn, R. (2008) ‘Conversational Environments Revisited‘, Conference Proceedings for 19th Meeting of Cybernetics & Systems Research, 25-28 March 2008, Vienna. Lovelock, J. (2007). Chapter 4: Forecasts for the Twenty-first Century. In: The Revenge of Gaia. 3rd ed. London: Penguin Books Limited. pp.61-83. Kelly, K. (1994). The Nine Laws of God. In: Out of Control. 2nd ed. New York: Basic Books. pp.468-472. McDonough, W. and Braungart, M. (2009). Chapter 4: Waste Equals Food. In: Cradle to Cradle:Re-Making the Way we Make Things. 2nd ed. London: Vintage Books. pp.92-117. McMullen, C. (2009) ‘Climate Change Science Compendium‘, Unknown place of publication: United Nations Environment Program,[Online] [Accessed on 9th February 2013] Available from: full_highres_en.pdf Royal Institute for British Architects (2009) ‘01 Climate Change Briefing’,Climate Change Toolkit, Unknown place of publication: Royal Institute of British Architects. [Online] [Accessedon 9th February 2013] Available from: Royal Institute for British Architects (2006) ‘RIBA Climate Change Policy’,Version 20-12-07, Unknown place of publication: Royal Institute of British Architects. [Online] [Accessed on 9th November 2012] Available from: Steel, C., 2009. Supplying the City. In: Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives. London:Vintage Books. Ch. 2. Sullivan, L. (2012) ‘RIBA Guide to Sustainability in Practice’, Unknown place of publication: Royal Institute of British Architects. [Online] [Accessed on 9th February 2013] Available from: TEDxtalks, (2011), ‘Skylar Tibbits: When things build themselves‘, [Online] [1 November 2012] Tibbits, S. (2012) ‘Design to Self-Assembly‘, in: Menges, A.[ed] Materials Computation, Architectural Design No.216, March/April 2012, Chichester:john Wiley & Sons, pp.68-73 Vimeo, (2012), ‘The self- assembly line‘, [Online] [1 November 2012] http://vimeo. com/38067834. © Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412

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MSA MArch 2013 Woudhuysen,J., Kieran, S, & Timberlake, J. (2010) ‘Mass Customisation and the Manufacture model‘, in: Corser, R.[ed] Fabricating Architecture: Selected Readings in Digital Design and Manufacturing, New York: Princeton Architectural Press Links: Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Hawkins Brown Architects The RIBA Sustainability Hub Low Carbon Construction Action Plan 2011

list of figures Fig.0.0: Feldman S. and Marks V.(2009) polar bears are not dying out, Available from: [Accessed: 10/11/2012] Fig.1.1: The trend in global average temperatures since 1860. Source: (1999) School of Environmnetal Sciences, Climatic Research Unit,University of east Anglia, UK, Available from [Accessed: 10/11/2012] Diagram.1.2: Hu L. P. (2012). Food chain disruption - [Diagram] Diagram.1.3: Economidou E. (2012). Cradle-to-Grave cycle - [Diagram] Diagram.2.1: Economidou E. (2012). Cradle-to-Cradle cycle - [Diagram] Fig.2.2.1: McKay I. - [Diagram] GMV ( Greenwich Millenium Village phase I) Fig.2.2.2: Tibbits S.(2010). Biased Chains: MIT 2010. Available from: [Accessed: 11/11/2012] Diagram.2.3: Atanassova A. (2012) Assembly process - [Diagram] Fig.3.0: Smith A. (2012) Building with Cross Laminated Timber.Available from: [Accessed: 15/01/2013] Fig.4.0: Universal Artists (unknown date) Stop Global warming. Available from: (!gallery/photostackergallery0=3) [Accessed: 16/01/2013]


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[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

[Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism


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© Eleni Economidou Student no.12100412

MSA MArch 2013 [Re_Map]606: Post Capitalist Urbanism

CCCP Portfolio

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CCCP - vol 2