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ISSUE I Oct 2017


matter FOR

meaning measure myth



congregation place

geometric form



ISSUE I Oct 2017


Contributors Editors : Soraya El Alami , Lydia Kontozoglou Authors (in alphabetical order): Sophia Arbara, Pei Chi Chen, Soraya El Alami, Radhika Haridas, Mercedes Harris, Lydia Kontozoglou, Tamanna Tiku, Rob Ungar, Chang Xu, Fan Yang, Jorge Zuñiga cover illustration by Rob Ungar Copyright © 2017 MSquare


the Cycle of Life and Death


ISSUE I Oct 2017


0 || Introduction :

6 || Witness ¡ Promise -

A Debate about Remnants

Design of Wushao Village

[ Soraya El Alami ]

Community Center

[ Lydia Kontozoglou ]

p. 8-11 1 || Before a Building

[ Fan Yang ]

p. 30-33 7 || The Boomerang Generation

the Birth of Architectural

Changing Family Structures

[ Mercedes Harris ]


[ Mercedes Harris ]

p. 12-13 2 || In Limbo

p. 34-37 8 || Hazards brought by development the Murder Of Historical Buildings

[ Pei Chi Chen ]

Places Between Life and Re-Birth

[ Rob Ungar ]

p. 14-17 3 || Parallel stories of life and death

p. 38-41 10 || The Rebirth of a City through Art How Art brought back life to

An approach through Nicosias

the Streets of Fort Kochi, India

[ Radhika Haridas ]

Urban Rift

[ Sophia Arbara ]

p. 18-21 4 || Villages vs Cities -

p. 42-45 11 || Cemetery as a Park What if Death was part of the

Life and Death of Chinese Cities

Public Realm?

and Villages

[ Jorge ZuĂąiga ]

[ Chang Xu ]

p. 22-25 5 || Growth and Decay

12 || Index Bibliography List of Figures

a Living Cemetery

[ Tamanna Tiku ]

p. 46-47

p. 48-49

p. 26-29


the Cycle of Life and Death

Intro A debate about remnants author(s) : Soraya El Alami, Lydia Kontozoglou

Fig. 1.1 : two faces of ruins . source: and


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Soraya: About two years ago a teacher showed in class two photos that made me think a lot about the concept of ruin. Lydia: What do you mean? Soraya: Well, people use the word “ruin” for very different things. For example, going back to that class, the first picture presented to us was the ancient city of Palmyra.To get in context, the 2000-year-old ruins of the old city of Palmyra are located about 2km from Damascus, Syria’s capital city. At its time, the city represented an important point of commercial routes between north Syria and Mesopotamia and was the city of numerous Emprires like the Roman, Greek or Persian. Discovered in the 17th and 18th centuries, this great city is declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1980. Unfortunately, a couple years ago ISIS took over it and ravaged part of this world’s treasure. Lydia: That is so interesting. Palmyra can offer a lot of information about the people that lived there. Historical ruins have so many stories to tell.

Fig. 1.2,1.3 : aspects of the ancient city of Palmyra

Soraya: I know! I think that historical ruins are used as a reminder of life. This is why I was so impressed when the professor showed us another kind of ruins : the ruins of war in Syria. And then I realized that my reaction to both was very different, even though I used the same word for both of them. These second ones were, for me, a reminder of death. Lydia: Do you have the same thought when you see a destroyed building in another place? Because I think that any destroyed building can be characterized as a ruin. Or even if I rip a paper, this is still a ruin; the destruction of anything is a ruin. I mean, for me, ruin can be anything that is altered in a negative way; something that is in a decayed condition. For example, if I throw a table out of a window and the windows breaks it would be a ruin.


the Cycle of Life and Death

Soraya: I may not agree about the “destruction� thing. I mean, historical ruins are the materialisation of a time to which we give value. What is the difference of two stone columns, one made 1000 years ago and the other one yesterday? They both are built with the same material, the same technique and in the same place. The only difference is the context which they are built in. The emotion that the first column carries is different because of what it represents for us. By us I mean humans that give the value to everything that surrounds them. Do you think that value is objective? And would you consider that the man kind has been fair of the values given throughout the time? Lydia: I think you are right. It is the value that we give to a certain element of the past that makes it important. And, now that you mention it, our experiences is what drives the evaluation of ruins. For example, as a Greek I have seen multiple historical ruins all over my country and I think this is a reason that I appreciate discoveries like Palmyra. But also, appreciating historical ruins is a characteristic of contemporary culture.

Lydia: Yes, maybe that is true. Fortunately, nowadays, we have the knowledge and the technology to preserve all those ruins correctly. I think that this is amazing. But, going back to what you said before, what about the ruins of war? Do you think we give them the same value and attention? Or they are a reminder of pain that we humans have caused to our own and we just want to forget they exist? Soraya: You know what, I just feel like it works as a cycle. Every materialized time experiences life, death and sometimes life again. Syria went from life to death but Palmyra went from death to life. Will Syria come back to life again? And what happens between those two conditions before it becomes what Palmyra became? Lydia: This is a very complex matter and there is a spectrum of opinions that can be expressed about ruins. Sometimes the value that we give in a discovery can be purely subjective or other times it can relate to a universal framework of values. Soraya: You know Lydia this is such a wide topic, I just hope that people can have a critical spirit and consciousness towards this delicate issue.


Fig. 1.4 : the city of Damascus during the war

Fig. 1.5 : ruins of the city after a bombing

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Fig. 1.6 : Palmyra in the age of war


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BEFORE A BUILDING the birth of architectural materials Mercedes E. Harris

Fig.2.1: Kansas limestone recently unearthed from the largest limestone shelf in the United States


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The case of Wichita, Kansas Outside of the small city of Wichita, Kansas, between the sunflower and corn fields, lies the next great architectural feat. When you turn down an unasuming gravel lane, the flatness of the green land blends into a thin horizon line. The land gives nothing away. The gravel kicks up around the car and soon the windows are tinted with a thin film of gravel. You will definitely need to wash the car after this trip. The gravel lane guides a visitor into an ever evolving landscape. Soon debris lingers on the side of the road; heavy machinery pops up from behind bone yards of crumbled stone blocks. There are no road signs, paved streets or intersections. One does not simply stumble upon a stone quarry. Travelers know where they are headed before driving out into the wild blue yonder of the Great Plains. Even so, finding a quarry site seems like an adventure into the unknown. Rounding another twist in the lane you see the ground open up and turn from flowing grasslands into the ash gray of Kansas limestone. Here, thousands of pound blocks of limestone are heaved from the earth. But

before the stone can become facades, floors, veneers and tiles, the stone workers must move mountains. Except this is Kansas, a world of one long horizon line - there are no mountains. Instead, grasslands break away to reveal subterranean mountains. Workers cut the stone shelf into blocks then haul them from the earth. Each one is just over six feet tall and at least, just as long. A customer might order limestone veneers for a facade but right now these blocks are the raw material birthed straight from the ground. A factory, converted from an old WWII airplane hanger, will turn the larger than life chunks into usable materials. Any weekday, the quarry fills with sounds of metal scraping against stone. Workers pile in from all over Kansas to toil under cloudless skies. But today, I am here on a Saturday and the site is quiet, still and eerie. The quarry is both a powerful economic engine and a scar splitting beautiful landscapes. I need not worry about the landscape, however. After the workers extract the stone, they cover the hole and plant new grasslands.

The landscape returns.

Fig. 2.2,2.3,2.4 : Equipment cleaning up debris; blocks of limestone on the excavation site; the cut shelf.


the Cycle of Life and Death

In Limbo Places between Death and Re-birth Rob Ungar


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What happens after we die? This deep fundamental question occupied human minds and was portrayed through various myths in all religions and traditions. The array of possible theological answers shows high levels of creativity in guessing the unknown, from doom-day resurrection to re-incarnation as a different form of life. Many ancient cultures believed there is an intermediate state between death and rebirth, Limbo in Catholic Christianity or Bardo in Tibetan Buddhism. This is a state in which the soul floats between the ‘lower’ and the ‘higher’ worlds, waiting for a process to come to an end, for its destiny to be determined. Artists describing this liminal state used dramatic architectural spaces and outdoor landscapes to describe a series of places, hellish at times, through which the soul passes on its way to heaven, or nirvana.

What happens to places after they die? Perhaps, like souls, some places never die. Structures, like bodies, will decay and their material will be absorbed back into the earth, if faster or slower. However, their spirit can linger for eternity, like love, in memories of people, and reflected in culture. But prior to physical destruction, many places will go through a transitory period. Once vacated from their activity, empty, slowly dilapidated, places in limbo allow all that is not normally accepted to thrive. Transitory people could feel at home, people who were pushed out by society can belong. They can regain their control in places where society lost its own control. Vacuum only in exists outer space. On earth, emptying one substance from an urban container immediately suck in other substances. those newcomers are elements of air, people who easily travel, who put their past behind, individuals who are free of strong attachments.

Fig. 3.1 - Left: Lifta, an ancient Palastenian village in the entrance to Jerusalem, abandonded in 1948. Today, active as a lively inofficial recreation area for diverse publics, mainly UltraOrthodox Jewish teens.

Every tradition has a different story regarding the process through which the soul is made ready to continue its journey to a permanent position. These stories usually include healing, redemption, or finishing off moral debts.

What makes places move on?

Photo: Avigail Roubini


the Cycle of Life and Death

Fig. 3.2 - Above: Christ in Limbo, (c. 1575) The Netherlands, by an anonymous follower of Hieronymus Bosch.

Fig. 3.3 - Right: Depiction of Bardo Thodol, Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State, taken from Nyingma literature, known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.


ISSUE I Oct 2017


the Cycle of Life and Death

Parallel stories of life and death An approach through Nicosias urban rift

Sophia Arbara

Fig. 4.1 : walking towards Nicosia’s buffer zone


ISSUE I Oct 2017

Urban ruins and the circle of life and death In the circle of life and death, ruins tend to be a metaphor of the latter. They become a storyteller of the past, a place that makes us remember or imagine remembering, a time we didn’t live. As a part of the city fades out, the buildings imprint sensations. And that is what makes urban ruins so captivating, the fact that they evoke emotions; sometimes bittersweet memories linked to the existing space and others, links to an imaginary, alien space. The urban ruin represents the past of the city or a place that can be the future of the city. Death of a prior existing life and the promise of a possible, future revival. The ruin is a not yet (or no longer) designated space: a space of in-betweenness, or a ‘halfway house between place and non-place’, as philosopher Dylan Trigg calls it 1.

clear manifestation of death and decay, this interpretation ignores the ruin as a relational space: a space that consist in relation to traces. In this case, nature stands there, representing the only form of life, interrupting the normality of the life and death circle of the ruins, adding a new parameter that shows the interaction that this place had with other entities and in our case: nature. As time passes, “green” life continues to grow parasitically in the once existing city, while the process of decay continues in the built environment. Trees seem to be the only living form in this place, that has expanded over time, shaping a green zone over the ruins. This peculiar relation among ruin and nature, vegetation and decomposed materials, operates within the city but operates beyond the city´s ordinary rules.

Ruins always enclose a relation to the past or a link towards the future. But what about its present?

The case of Nicosia I visited the city of Nicosia, two years ago, while doing my final project about the in-between zone that tears the city and the two communities apart. Nicosia has been divided economically, socially and spatially among its inhabitants – the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots - since 1974. Unlike cities where the spatial division was defined by a wall, here, the division is expressed by a double walled in-between space. Today the so called buffer zone, is a no man’s land, an urban rift of ruins, remembrances of the city’s former existence as one. One the previously most alive, commercial parts of the city – the Ermou street, belongs to that “third” part of the city. In Nicosia’s urban ruins, where, besides military forces, no one has access to, time stands still. A place that for the past decades has been the physical manifestation of conflicts, this zone is not celebrating is monumentality, like other, historical and/or urban ruins tend to do. Curious about what was lying behind the walls, barrels, wires and sandbags from which the border consists of, slots and terraces were the places to look for. Expecting to see a place of no time, an “other” place in the process of decay, the images still surprised me. Collapsed roofs and windows, faded out signs, traces of furniture are parts of the desaturated scenario. It is hard to distinguish limits among building edges and streets and imagine this street as one of the most alive parts of the former city. It is clear that within the past decades this place has been detached from any human activity. Though one could think that the Buffer zone today represents a place of

Fig. 4.2: sections from the design project : “ Nicosia - a scenario of transition “


the Cycle of Life and Death

Following a positive approach of the life circle, following phrase comes to mind:

When rust sets in on a razor blade, when moss grows in a corner of a room . . . we should be glad because . . life is moving into the house.2” Historically, the life and death cycle of this place repeated already once. Before being a “no man´s” land, a place where life would be represented through vegetation, the zone was full of human activity and life. But even prior to that, Ermou street was a place of natural life, where the river Pedieos used to flow.

“... a natural divide which much later turned into a human-made divide. Even though the river later became a bridge, later yet, once again through human effort, it turned into a chasm...3”

Fig. 4.3 : use of the former trading axis of Ermou street

What comes next? Monuments intend to be tell our story or mark our ideas, but have been often accused of telling the wrong story or just a part of it. In Nicosia, this story remains uknown as the future evolution of the city and its ruins are unclear. The place tends to be seen as a neglected part of the city, a place to avoid, rather than a monument. While tree monuments, symbols of life, have declared their existence, the question still remains about the future of the place. Only over the past years, attempts of preserving the buildings have emerged and some timid initiatives among Greek - Cypriots and Turkish - Cypriots arose, aiming to create a common space for both communities along the border. Even if solutions go beyond the physical approach and form part of a broader political and social issue, we should start thinking ourselves what will be the next steps of this “other” place and what our position will in regards of this space. Coming up with broader ideas of reintegration, stitching both the divided society and the physical space, thus aknowledging and adapting to the place s conditions of today, is a challenge that hopefully the future of this place will have to consider. Fig. 4.4 : the in-between city behind barrels, wires and walls


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Fig. 4.5: a place of no time

Fig. 4.6: the “division” elements that blend in the landscape

’’Unlike the commodified environment, a ruin is space which stops resetting the clock, allowing time to layer and accumulate in a bionic fusion with nature. We find ruins sublime because they overpower us with the sorts of relationship denied in the corporate landscape: a melancholic hyperawareness of time, through which we are quietly confronted with death.’’ Jonathan Moses

Fig. 4.7 : space battles


the Cycle of Life and Death

VILLAGES VS CITIES life & death of Chinese cities and villages Chang Xu






Shanghai Wuhan

Big Cities (Population > 1 million)


Metropolises (Population > 5 million)






Big Cities (Population > 1 million)




Metropolises Groups (Population > 10 million)

Fig. 5.1 : The 40 years' flourishment of urbanization process in China tends to make our people believe that we are winners. However, is there a negative side of the storm like development process? Did we lose more rather than create more? Did we forget more rather than discover more? We need to rethink. 22

ISSUE I Oct 2017







You may know that there are totally 757 cities in China. Another 18 more new cities are formed each year. More and more people are enjoying the comfort of city lives.



However, do you know that in

the meanwhile averagely 103 rural v i l l a g e s o r s m a l l t o w n s a r e disappearing e a c h d a y since 2006? Lots of traditions also disappeared with those villages.




Clearly , you may know that

apps like Wechat and Alipay has already linked 800,000,000 smart users around the China. Everyone can use their mobile phone to express their ideas. Life is equal.




However , do you know that

over 40,000,000 poor people are still living in villages. 70% of them are older than 70, and the other 20% are younger than 15. No one care about their lives.






Migrating Rural Population

Population to City

City Population

In 2011, China passed a milestone: for the first time in the history, there were more citizens living in cities than in rural areas. In the next 15 years, Chinese government plans to bring an extra 100 million people from rural villages to towns and cities. In recent 40 years, maybe there is no other country in the world that has gone through the same urban development at such a high speed as we have in China. Back in 1978, China’s GDP was only 367 billion Yuan; by 2015, it already reached 68,905 billion Yuan. The quantity of cities also grew a lot, by the end of 2015, there were 757 cities in China, 462 more than what we had in 1978. As for the population distribution, in 1982, only 20% of the total population lived in urban areas; by the end of 2015, there were already 56%. By 2030, we will have nearly 80% of our population living in urban areas. It seems that those data and censuses are all showing positive views that China is developing really fast. However, if there is a positive side, there must also be a negative side. Great cities are experiencing a lively springing up, while villages or small towns are undergoing a dramatic decay. A leading government institute conducted a census regarding Chinese villages in 2005 and that showed that we had 3.6 million villages. In 2016, another census was conducted and it showed that there were only 2.7 million left. It showed that at an average, we are losing 100 villages every day and in the past decade, we have already lost a million villages Most people tend to believe that this is a good thing, that the quantity of cities can indicate the developing level of a country. Besides, people moving out of rural areas can get better jobs, higher salaries and their descendants could also get better education. So, a steady population transition from rural to urban is considered a good change. But if the decline of rural areas is too fast and out of control, there could also be lots of negative impacts. Since young people are leaving, lots of left-behind children and old men become unattended. Their destiny is worrisome. When those villages die, some cultural heritage and philosophical treasures also die together. In general, I believe that the urbanization process is a double-edged sword. After 40 years of rushing, maybe now it’s the right time for us to take a step back, and reconsider not only all those great things in cities, but also those small things in villages. 23

the Cycle of Life and Death

LIFE OF CITIES 40 years ago, Shenzhen was only a small fishing village on the route of Kowloon-Canton Railway with a population of 20,000 - located immediately to the north of Hong Kong. But that changed in 1979, when it was designated as China’s first Special Economic Zone. Shenzhen has gone through a remarkable growth in both economy and population in the following 40 years. According to 2010 census, there were already 10,357,938 citizens living in Shenzhen, and it became the 3rd wealthiest city in China, just after Beijing and Shanghai. Shenzhen is not alone. A group of mega 5.8

cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hongkong and eight other cities nearby have emerged in recent years. It’s also known as the Pearl River Mega Cities Group, as it surpassed the Great Tokyo Region in 2014 and became one of the biggest Urban regions in the world. In China, there are now 9 Mega City Groups, in which all cities, towns and villages can enjoy a high rate of development. In general, those cities in China are now experiencing an unprecedented rate of prosperity.






















Fig. 5.12 : Mega Cities Region in Guangdong Province

ISSUE I Oct 2017

DEATH OF VILLAGES “We can get better jobs and salaries in cities rather than in small villages doing farm work.� This is the typical thought of young people in Jingzi, a historical village not far from Shijiazhuang, the capital city of Hebei province. Jingzi village has a history of 200 years, and had over 300 villagers at its heyday. However, since 30 years ago, the village was undergoing a continuous population decline. Nowadays, there are only 5 villagers still living in the village. Young people moved out to cities and only old men were left behind because of health problems. So when those old men die, 5.13


All 5Villagers in Jingzi


the village will become totally empty and abandoned, which is the typical way of death of small villages in China. Jingzi is only one example of the nearly 4000 such poor villages in Hebei Province that are at the edge of disappearance. And the most important thing is that it seems no one cares about those dying villages and left-behind old men and children. However, do these villages really mean nothing? Is there nothing we can do to save some of them? It is worth thinking about.


Abandoned chapel in Jingzi


Left-behind Child

Left-behind Old Man









Fig. 5.17: Endangered Villages Scattered in Hebei Province


the Cycle of Life and Death

GROWTH AND DECAY A Living Cemetery Tamanna Tiku

Fig. 6.1 : As the body withers, the tree grows.


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Fig. 6.2 :2030: Beginning

Existence is cyclical. While time is unstoppable and linear in its universally accepted form, it does seem to halt in its place in moments of surprise and go around circles in moments of reflection. Perception of time and time itself are distinguishable entities. It is the combination of the two, through which we perceive the world.

Fig. 6.3 : 2050: Saturation

The occurrences of birth and death behave in a similar fashion. While they might seem like the beginnings and endings of a linear lifespan, they set a circular sequence of events in motion. Before birth exists the hope for life and after death comes the need to move on from its finality. How might a place reflect these inevitably connected occurrences of decay, birth, and growth – inherently distinct in nature, but leading to one another as time goes on? Fig. 6.4 : 2030: In-between


the Cycle of Life and Death

In the densely populated outskirts of New Delhi, residential mid-rises surround a park. This park lends refreshing moments of rest and activity to the neighborhood.

How might a cemetery in this park begin a conversation about the sensitive acknowledgment of death within an active part of the city?

This confrontation of loss through a living cemetery instead of a lifeless graveyard is a medium for the dead to fuel life into a place that becomes a living, evolving entity itself. Fig. 6.5 : 2030: In-between




Fig. 6.6 : 2030: In-between


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Fig. 6.8 : Kids rushing from home

Fig. 6.9 : Neighbors and visitors

Fig. 6.7 : Could a local cemetery be activated by kids?

Fig. 6.11 : A neighborhood resident

Fig. 6.10 : Visiting the memorial


the Cycle of Life and Death

WITNESS · PROMISE Design of Wushao Village Community Center Fan Yang

Fig. 7.1 : Model


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Fig. 7.2, 7.3, 7.4 : Diagrams and Model

Life & Death in Quarries Wushao Village have a strong connection with stones. Surrounded by four mountains, the village once depended on quarries for economical prospect. Yet after quarrying for dozens of years, some quarries closed, while the bare stone on the mountain remained as a huge scar of the village. Although it seems no vegetation could ever grow on these bare stone, nature is still struggling to take back this area.

Design Strategy By designing this community center for the village, is it possible that this architecture become a solace to villagers? Thus, the community center is generated with an intention to organize the sequence of view that its visitors may see. By witnessing the restoration of green life in previous quarries, visitors may get a promise:

Life is endless.


the Cycle of Life and Death

TEXT 11PT - Corbel

Fig. 7.5 : Floor plan

Fig. 7.6 : Aspects


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Fig. 7.8 : design method

Visiting Path The community center contains three yards and each of the yards refer to a theme based on its surrounding landscape. As is showed in the picture below: Destruction (A-B); Restoration (C-D) ; Rebirth (E-G).

Fig. 7.7 : the process of the making

After walking through the main corridor that links the three yards and sitting in the teahouse at the west end of this center, visitors may see a promising trend of future and achieve their inner peace.


the Cycle of Life and Death

THE BOOMERANG GENERATION changing family structures

Mercedes E. Harris 4 PEW RESEARCH CENTER

Fig. 8.1 : Aspects


In Post-Recession Era, Young Adults Drive Continuing Rise in Multi-generational Living BY Richard Fry AND Jeffrey S. Passel

A 2016 release of information gathered by the Pew Research Center A record 57 million Americans, or 18.1% of the summarizes what researchers and practitioners have studied for decades. population of the United States, lived in multiThe study, conducted by Richard Fry, gives a vernacular version of studies generational family households in 2012, evaluating the overarching tendency for young adults to move back double the number who lived in such home with their parents. This phenomenon has been documented in the households in 1980.1 United States and abroad. The Millennials have earned a new name: “The Boomerang Generation”. After three decades of steady but measured growth, the arrangement havingadults multiple The name comes from the apparent unwillingness forofyoung to generations together under one roof spiked move out of their parents’ homes on a permanent basis. Something that during the Great Recession of 2007-2009 seems to be agreed upon is that this is largely due to economic hardships and of has kept on growing in the post-recession the generation, combined with a relatively lax need to obtain a longer term albeit atproblem a slower pace, according to a relationship. While mostly seen asperiod, an individual on development, new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. moving back home also has significant impact on the parents, other Census Bureau data. siblings and as well as younger generations. Studies have shown that the

long term effects of chronic unemployment in your younger years reaches Young adults ages 25 to 34 have been a major far beyond eating ramen in your thirties. component of the growth in the population with multiple generations since across 1980— The Great Recession of 2008 sawliving an increase in family hardships and especially since 2010. By 2012, roughly the globe. The 2008 election year had people of various knowledge levels one-in-four these young (23.6%) vying for any reason as to what possibly wentofwrong. Whileadults politicians and lived in multi-generational households, up scholars argued, people were laid off in droves, family checkbooks dwindled from 18.7%only in 2007 and 11% in 1980. and jobs simply disappeared. The recession officially lasted 19 months

but some researchers argue that it’s effect have lasted much longer than Historically, the nation’s Americans that (Hoynes, 2012, p. 27). The recession of 2008 lasted oldest longer, expanded haveslower been the group likelythan to live in at a more rapid pace and has been toage return tomost normal the multi-generational But in recent recessions of the early 1980s (Hoynes, 2012, p. 28).households. When considering the years, younger have surpassed older busts of 1980/1981, and the recessions of 1990adults and 2001, unemployment in thisafter regard. 2012, 22.7% of adults returned to prerecession levels by adults 48 months theInend of the recession 85are andnot older in a multi-generational (Hoynes, 2012, p. 30). Job seekersages today solived lucky. Khang, writing about the European job market, discusses how young

adults are overqualified and underemployed in our post-recession world (2015, p. 50). The article focuses mainly on the economics but makes a valid observation: [a firm] hires young recruits, but when it shrinks Population “…typically Living in Multiits workforce, it Households tends to fire them generational Hasfirst” (Khang, 2015, p. 51). Unfortunately, we shall have to wait until the next census in 2020 to confirm exact results. Doubled Since 1980 In millions

While the 2008 economic turndown probably did have young people en 2012moving in with relatives, this is not57where the trend begins. Kahn et masse 2010 al. Demonstrate in their 2013 study that54 young adults have been returning 2000 42 to their home of origin for at least three decades. Their study uses the 1990 35 censuses 1980 between 1960 and 28 2010 in order to track multigenerational living and1970 economic dependence (p. 1455). Living at home has only risen by 26 19605% since 1960 but27economic dependency has shifted in the last 50 about 1950 32 years (Kahn, 2013, p. 1452-1455). 1940


Share Living in Multi-generational Households Continues To Rise 30% 24.7 25


20 15

18.1 15.0 12.7




10 5 0 2012 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Source: Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Decennial Census data, 1940-2000, and 2006-12 revised weight American Community Surveys (IPUMS)

Fig. AdultCENTER children living at home often conjure up bums in basements. But as the PEW 8.2: RESEARCH trend to return home rises, the stereotype becomes damaging.

In this analysis multi-generational households include those with at least two adult generations, such as a parent and an adult child ages 25 or older. The U.S. Census Bureau also identifies multi-generational households, but it defines them more narrowly. Under census definitions only households with three or more generations present are considered multi-generational (Lofquist, 2012). The Census Bureau classified 3.8% of 2012 households as multi-generational. Using the same data, Pew Research classifies 11.2% of households as multi-generational.



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Multigenerational living in 1960 seems to have a positive advantage for the older generation (Kahn, 2013, p. 1459). In past generations, parents moved in with their adult children as they lost their mobility or senility. Today, the advances in technology, at home care services and a myriad of benefits for the elderly allow an individual to live alone, economically independent, for a far greater period of time. The trend has shifted where young people are moving back in with their parents to avoid or lessen economic hardships (Kahn, 2013, p. 1459). Further, when a young adult finds employment this is not the end to their troubles. Sustainable jobs with decent pay is hard to find as the United States has rapidly shifty out of an industrial nation into a one based in the service industry (Sironi, 2012, p. 612). Service based jobs are frequently considered unskilled, low paying and come with high a turnover rate. This constant changing of occupations leads to less stability in the life of the individual but also in any dependents that may be in their care.

Family & Community Risks Let us assume that based off the collected data shown above, that the risk of a child moving home is a negative stressor because it is usually done at the economic dependability of the young adult. Are there general protections or vulnerabilities that occur after a child returns home? In the Family Resilience Model, developed by researcher at Oklahoma State University, protections are described as “resources, processes or mechanisms” that assist families in overcoming potential risks (Henry et al., 2015, p. 25). I have identified five common family protections based on the collected research: limited individual risks, flexible family structures, adjustable family resources, community-oriented cultural values and comfortable family relationships. Vulnerabilities are factors families already possess that may increase the stresses associated with potential family risks (Henry et al, 2015, p. 24). Here I have also identified five factors: heightened individual risks, rigid family structures, limited family resources, mastery oriented cultural values and strained family relationships. These factors may at first seem contrasting, like Hegel’s view of thesis/antithesis (Boss, 2002, p. 78) but I argue that they are better understood along a sliding scale. Remember that both vulnerabilities and protections are directly affected by the risk the family is facing and they both, in turn, affect how the family adapts. It should be qualified that not all people of a certain classification will move along a path of economic dependency to their parents just like all children do not develop and grow the same way. Remember that even though living with a parent is the most common form of living in today’s society (32.1%), this statistic only beats out living with a romantic partner by a less than a percentage (31.6%) (Fry, 2016, 1). Only about a third of young adults will experience this shift which means risk groups comprise of a much narrower view of society than statistics may first lead us to believe. The reason why this issue is still important is because the gap is narrowing considerably between the two forms of living. First, are the individual risks to the person moving. Multicultural or minority males with a) a low amount of education (Hoynes, 2012, p. 28;Berngruber, 2015, p. 1277; Britton, 2013, p. 995) and/or b) a stale in finding a job (Britton, 2013, p. 995; Berngruber, 2015, p. 1277; Sironi, 2013, p. 610) and c) who lack a long-term romantic partner (Kahn, 2013, p. 1472; Berngruber, 2015, p. 1278) are the most likely to live at home. Conversely, white females (Fry, 2016, p. 8) with a) a post-secondary degree (Sironi, 2012, p. 610) or vocational training and/or b) a long-term romantic partner (Berngruber, 2015, p. 1278) are the least likely to return home regardless of employment (Sironi, 2012, p. 610).

Fig. 8.3 : Concept diagram by Continuum, a design consultant firm out of MA, that shows how spaces can change to accommodate one large family or to smaller ones.


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Many cases in modern society may see an adult child who only identifies with one parent. For instance, the other parent could have been added by a remarriage late into adolescence of the child. The parental subsystem may come into conflict as the biological parent defends his/her child and the stepparent attacks the young adult. Further, authoritarian or nonnegotiating family structures may more closely monitor the young adult’s actions and contributions once back at home. Adult children may be forced back into adolescent roles of subservience instead of continuing with the autonomy of adulthood. Third, resources are a major component in how a family makes adjustments. Children that move back home may draw on already stretched family resources. Resources are not limited to economic capital but can also include societal/community engagements, personal relationships, education and overarching values or beliefs. Parents with higher incomes and levels of education are more likely to furnish independent living in their adult children (Britton, 2013, p. 998). Further families that live in largely urban areas, or the coasts are more likely to see their children leave home sooner than Midwestern families (Britton, 2013, p. 998). This may be due to the larger range of mobility young children and adolescents have in city centers versus in the automobile-dependent society. The parents may have other children or other obligations that require their resources (perhaps an illness or even a long awaited vacation). Limiting these resources further may cause family tension and stress. If the child has a source of income, as many do even if residing at home, (Kahn, 2013, p. 1459) this may ease some family tension.

Fig. 8.4 : Crème, based in Brooklyn, NY, shows a mutlimedia sketch where the dining room table is the ultimate facilitator of family resources. Not just food but also social values and education.

Second, family structures usually predict if or when a child will return home. Two-parent households are much more likely to see a return in their adultchildren than families of single-parents or step-parents (Berngruber, 2015, p. 1279). This could be because the two-parent home may have greater capacity to deal with the economic burdens of adding another member (Point 4), parental relationships may be stronger or familial ties may be more unified (Point 3). 36

Fourth, culture plays a significant role in family values. Minority groups are much more likely to remain at home than whites (Britton, 2013, p. 995). In the case of migrant families this could be more economic and social buffers the family provides in an otherwise unfamiliar culture (and McCubbin, 2013). Certain ethnic groups, notably Asian and Hispanic, concentrate their beliefs around the fabric of the home (Britton, 2013, p. 996). For example, elders may be looked upon to give rites of passages to young people (Quinceaneras in the Hispanic culture or bar mitzvahs in the Jewish culture), provide insight on prospective marriage partners (such as in many Middle Eastern countries), or act as sages throughout their lifespan (such as tribal leaders in African villages or Medicine Men in the Native American cultures). Although moving home now is more common than living with a romantic partner, for the parents of the young adults, the exact opposite it true (Fry, 2016, p. 4). This change in norms may not be so easily adapted in the familial home. Consider cultures that are mastery oriented, like the United States and Europe. A young adult fails to find a job after college and therefor needs to move back in for an ambiguous amount of time. This person is not only reversing a key social transition marker but it is also

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due the fact of perhaps a limited economy or slow growth in the area. The parents may just see it as laziness of the child. In a mastery oriented culture, humankind controls the outcomes (Price et al, 2017, p. 12). Community oriented cultures are mainly Eastern cultures and minority ethnic groups such as Native Americans (Price et al, 2017, p. 12) Living at home until one achieves a major transitional marker –usually marriage—may be seen as something desired (Britton, 2013, 996). Many other cultural groups around the world place a higher emphasis on family interventions in the lives of young people including their profession, choice of marriage partner and timing of children. For these families, multigenerational living may be a normal occurrence. Last, family relationships and perceptions play the most significant, yet the least predictable role, in parceling out protections and vulnerabilities. Relationships can be based on scores of different conditions, including all of the ones discussed above. If the returning young adult and another family member had a strained relationship before the young adult left the first time, then it is reasonable to assume this strain will pick back up. This relationship may not ever have to include the parents.

Conclusion and Applications

Returning to the family of origin is a phenomenon which has been occurring for decades. However, a change in family structure is a risk which can easily cause stress in a family unit. We discussed how this could affect the family based on their vulnerabilities and protections already in place. Depending on how a family perceives the event determines how a family might adapt. Regardless of how the individual family unit responds, shifts in living trends have impacts on design related fields. Consider the impacts of a mobile, multigenerational family on current single-family housing stock as well as infill solutions in urban neighborhoods. While some cultures have always embraced multigenerational living, this trend began to pierce all demographic groups in the last thirty years. As sociologists and family practitioners consider the implications of this phenomenon on people, designers should reimagine the housing unit and what it means inside larger fabrics.

Fig. 8.5 : Williamson Chong, Toronto, shows how a single unit can be built over time and modified to house up to four different families. The diagram on the far left shows a split, four unit dwelling with separate entrances. The center diagram shows a shared courtyard on the ground floor with separate, private courtyards for two families above. The right image shows a completed dwelling.

Could houses become flexible units with movable walls each family can manipulate to their own needs? Perhaps units are subdivided to include several “units” with shared community spaces. Or multifamily housing might allow for contiguous units to open up onto one another if residents so desire. As the trend continues, only time and market demand will tell how much of an impact the Boomerang Generation has on housing. 37

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Hazards Brought By Development Murder Of Historical Buildings

Pei-Chi Chen

Fig. 9.1 : on site interpretation


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Urban renewal projects become a major trend in Taiwan these years. Old buildings are torn down and then new developments spread out rapidly, occupying every corner in big cities like Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. During these renewal processes, development firms and other stakeholders are busying on maximizing the value of the product, and building agencies are trying to hype the price of the existing buildings. However, many issues are arisen, such as distribution equality and environmental impact. Some of the issues were well-regulated by law, but some are ignored (un) consciously and then result to irreversible consequents. Taiwan was once dominated by Japanese during 1895-1945. Japanese left many precious facilities and buildings in big cities when they retreated from Taiwan. Some of them are adopted into new uses. For example, the previous Japanese Office of the Governor-General building is used as Taiwan’s presidential palace now. Nevertheless, most of historical buildings are not lucky as others, which are protected properly by government policy. When it comes to a new development with historical buildings, these buildings are barely escaping their fate of death. In 2016, there are more than sixteen historical building were torn or burned down.Even though the government makes regulation about historical building preservation, which contains a fine penalty, the regulation is still too powerless to hinder the wheel of tremendous interests behind the new development.

Fig. 9.2 : Burning Historical Building

Fig. 9.3 : Heritage Building Self- Fired Map in Taiwan


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Fig. 9.4 : Japanese style wooden dormitory, Taiwan

Fig. 9.5 : Burned Japanese style wooden dormitory, Taiwan

In many cities around the world, people see historical buildings as precious assets and try to preserve or reuse them by any means. On the contrary, in Taiwan, historical buildings keep being torn down or get nameless fire at midnight. These usually happen just before they are going to be designated as heritage buildings, which are more well-protected by the preservation policy. Ironically, some of the buildings got burn because they are going to be designated as heritage buildings. Most of them were delicate wooden structured, so it is almost impossible to fix or rebuild them after the fire. Currently, some of the crime scene still remain wreckages or were built as flat parking lots because the development firms haven’t decided their product yet. On the other hand, in major cities, some of the firms even do not try to make any development plan but intent to sell these lands out. The longer time these firms hold the lands, the higher value the lands will become, and these historical buildings could threat the development in future. Therefore, developers choose to strike first, murdering these historical buildings even without figuring out the future of these lands.









Fig. 9.6 : Heritage Reviewing Process


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In these years, local history scholars and spatial professions struggle to arouse people’s awareness on these building murder behaviors. They started to hold lectures for citizens and cooperate with multi-media workers from diverse field in order to promote their idea. A small firm called Simpleinfo Company made a game called “SHAOHUI”, which means burning down in Chinese, to satirize this “inevitable urban development phenomenon” in Taiwan. In this game, you will play as an arson and try setting fire on historical buildings as many as possible. Every historical building in this game exactly existed in Taiwan and was set fired in the past. Moreover, with the game level rising, people can even set fire on designated heritage buildings to gain higher score. At the end of game, it will show you how these building “revive” into malls, parking lots, or simply nothing. This ridiculous game successfully drew eyeballs and formed a pressure on related

government department, which started to modify the policy of historical building protection.

Something has been done, but more things are still waiting to go. Even Taiwan people and government departments start to aware the importance of these historical buildings, it merely slow down their diminish rate in big cities. Seeking a sustainable way to henotic the relationship between the city’s past and future is our long term goal, and it is every citizen’s duty to protect the historical memory and to keep them from cruel murder case with thoughtless developer and imperfect preservation policy.

Fig. 9.7 : Snapshot of the game “SHAOHUI”, Copyright © 2017 Simpleinfo All rights reserved


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REBIRTH of a CITY through ART How art brought back life to the streets of Fort Kochi, India

Radhika Haridas

Fig. 10.1 : Fish Cemetery, Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016


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The faint smell of the dried red chilies that hits you as you walk into Anand Warehouse hints you of the kind of activity it holds. But instead, as you enter the biggest room of the warehouse, you are greeted by a large screen playing AES+F’s Inverso Mundus, showing you a world of role reversals- of pigs chopping men, of flying fishes and chimeras as pets.

Fig. 10.2 : AES+F’s Inverso Mundus playing at Anand Warehouse, Fort Kochi

Fig. 10.3 : The streets of Fort Kochi during the first edition of the Biennale

Kochi, a quaint city in South India has layers of history and culture entwined with its Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial heritage that can be seen on its every street corner. Kochi’s economy largely depended on the tourism industry, marketing on the European architecture which is significantly unique to this part of the state. From English bungalows which have become boutique hotels to row houses that have become cafes and home-stays, the lands of Fort Kochi are filled with numerous buildings which remain a residue of its gone days. Also are the warehouses that line the shore of Fort Kochi that once stored it’s priced spices before they were exported to various trade centers around the world. The lives and livelihood of the people from Kochi formed around these structures. Many of these warehouses were abandoned years ago when the British ended their colonial rule and stood as a memoir of its past. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale is an international exhibition of contemporary art held in Kochi, Kerala. It has taken place for three years now, and each time, I have seen how the city happily transformed itself from being a little port city into a space bustling with people, art, and activities, during the months of December to March through the years 2012, 2014 and 2016. The Biennale has been successful in bringing in artists, art enthusiasts & backpackers from around the country and abroad, and even curious locals to the island, to experience and witness the event.


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For the first event, the Biennale Organization leased out the old warehouses and transformed it into venues to host the event for three months instead of building new infrastructure or event centers. They not only found a new purpose to these abandoned and unused buildings but also opened doors for locals to see and experience the hidden side of the city’s trading history. The warehouses with their double-height Mangalore tiled roofs and inner courtyards were of much appeal to both the locals as well as the visitors. In a city which otherwise feels so claustrophobic, these newly discovered spaces found it more space to breathe and expand life into. The Biennale was also successful making the locals aware of the extent of change that can be brought in, by transforming the ideas of places. They were effective at bringing employment to many from the local community and getting them to help with the running of the event. With people from around the world dropping in to peek at the event, the locals took in to become tour guides driving the visitors around in the autorickshaws, feeding them the famed local fish fries and celebrating their land with the others. Added to this, the event was also able to bring about awareness of the existence of Muziris, a trade-port in the ancient Spice Route and thereby helping the funding of the archaeology project based in the area. I find the Biennale to have breathed new life into these abandoned buildings, giving them a meaning and use beyond their actual purposes. In its true sense, not just the buildings but also to have brought back life and activity into a city with a forgotten story. With a total inflow of around 5 lakh people during the third edition of the Biennale, it was also successful at creating a new mark on Kochi’s history, and indirectly helping the local community to take charge of the event and making it their own. The same buildings that formed a livelihood to the locals in the past, after decades of neglect and abandonment became a way of livelihood for the locals of today through the shift in their use over the years. The rebirth of a place and its people, its revival - through art.


Fig. 10.4 : The Aspinwall Hall was the main venue of the Biennale and the business center of Aspinwall & Company Ltd. established in 1867

Fig. 10.5 : Charm of Art

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Fig 10.6 : Image of an artwork by Bharti Kher

Fig. 10.7 : Image of an artwork which absorbed into its venue

Fig. 10.8 : Artwork amidst the ruins of a warehouse at Fort Kochi


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CEMETERY AS PARK What if death was part of the public realm? Jorge ZuĂąiga

Fig. 11.1 : Nueva Esperanza Cemetery in Villa Maria del Triunfo, Lima, Peru


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Fig. 11.2 : Nueva Esperanza Cemetery in Villa Maria del Triunfo, Lima, Peru

There’s something private about death. What happens to our bodies when we die? Usually, we are caged in a box and stored in a mausoleum. If we get lucky, they’ll put us on our own piece of land in a gated green space. And we are there, behind closed doors, for eternity. Why are we not allowed to enjoy the life of the city we love when we stop breathing? Why would they cage us in a lonely box or keep our ashes in a living room?

How do cities deal with death? Why is death a private event? Why do we decide to cage death bodies in mausoleums or cemeteries? Can death be a part of the public realm? Can death be a part of everyday life? Can public space allow living and dead to reconcile and share the same space ?

Fig. 11.3 : Nueva Esperanza Cemetery in Villa Maria del Triunfo, Lima, Peru


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List of Figures

Cover photograph Source : 1. Intro: A debate about remnants by Soraya El Alami and Lydia Kontozoglou Imperial Olmedo, A., Theory of Architecture [Lecture] ETSAB School of Architecture, November 2015 4. Villages vs Cities - Life and Death of Chinese Cities and Villages by Chang Xu Dylan Trigg, The Aesthetics of Decay Nothingness, Nostalgia, and the Absence of Reason, Vol.37, New Studies in Aesthetics Hundertwasser 1997, 48 in Kraftl 2005, 137 Papadakis, Y. (Spring 2006) Nicosia after 1960: A River, A Bridge and a Dead Zone 7. The Boomerang Generation -Changing Family Structures by Mercedes Harris

url:, access date : October 2017

1.1 Authors’ own collage of images Source 1: url: , access date : October 2017 Source 2: url:, access date : October 2017

1.2 1.3

| Berngruber, A. (2015). Generation Boomerang in Germany? Returning to the parental home in young adulthood. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(10), 1274-1290. doi:10.1080/13676261.2015.1039969 | Britton, M. L. (2013). Race/Ethnicity, Attitudes, and Living With Parents During Young Adulthood. Journal of Marriage and Family, 75: 995–1013. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12042 | Fry, R. (2016). For First Time in Modern Era, Living With Parents Edges Out Other Living Arrangements for 18- to 34-Year-Olds. Washington, D.C.: Pew Research Center, May. Retrieved from: http://www. with-parents-edges-out-other-living-arrangements-for-18-to-34-year olds/ | Henry, C. S., Morris, A. S., & Harrist, A. W. (2015). Family resilience: Moving into the third wave. Family Relations, 64(1):22-43. doi: 10.1111/ fare.12106 | Kahn, J. R., Goldscheider F., & Garcia-Manglano, J. (2013). Growing Parental Economic Power in Parent-Adult Child Households: Coresidence and Financial Dependency in the United States, 1960-2010. Demography, 50:1449-1475. doi: 10.1007/s13524-013-0196-2. | Khang, H. (2015). HELP WANTED. Finance & Development, 52(2), 50-54. Retrieved from: edu/docview/1685875554?rfr_id=info%3Axri%2Fsid%3Aprimo | McCubbin, L. D., & McCubbin, H. I. (2013). Resilience in ethnic family systems: A relational theory for research and practice. In D. S. Becvar (Ed.), Handbook of family resilience (pp. 175-195). New York, NY: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-3917-2_11 | Price, C. A., Bush, K. R., & Price, S. J. (2017) Families & Change: Coping With Successful Events and Transitions. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. | Sironi, M., and Frank F. Furstenberg. 2012. “Trends in the Economic Independence of Young Adults in the United States: 1973-2007.” Population Development and Review, 38(4),):609-630. doi: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2012.00529.x







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Source :

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2.1,2.2,2.3,2.4 Author’s own file 3.1 3.2

Author’s own file. Photo credit Avigail Roubini Source :





4.1, 4.3, 4.4,4.5,4.6 Author’s own file 4.2 Drawings produced for the project “Nicosia - a scenario of transition” by Sophia Arbara and Xenia Alygizou


Author’s Collage of Images Source 1:

url:, access date : October 2017 Source 2: url: Content?oid=9251370, access date : October 2017

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Author’s Collage (own files) Source :

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Source :, Copyright: Dingliang Yang

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5.12 Source: Google maps 5.13, 5.14 Source:

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Source: Google maps


Author’s own file. Drawings and artwork produced and presented for the final design project in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s School of Architecture and Design on May 2017


Author’s own file. Drawings and artwork produced and presented for a design project in China University of Mining and Technology on October 2016


Source: Wikipedia Commons

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Source: Google maps


Source: Taiwan Control

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9.6, 9.7 Source:

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Source: Wikipedia Commons

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url:, access date: October 2017 10.3 . Source: Prathapan C url:, access date: October 2017

10.4 10.5

Source: Author’s own file (2012) Source: The Hindu

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Source: KMB Foundation


url: access date: October 2017 10.7 Source: KMB Foundation URL: access date: October 2017

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11.1, 11.2, 11.3 Source : Nadia Cruz Porras (2015)

think the Multigenerational Home.”

url:, access date: October 2017

Source: Natalie Reilly. (nd). “Why it’s important that adult children living at home pay board.”

8.2,8.3, 8.4, 8.5 Source: Metropolis Editors . (2014). “Full House: Four Firms Re-

10.8 Source: Author’s own file, 2016

url: Metropolis. full-house-four-firms-rethink-multigenerational-home/, access date: October 2017


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M Square is a spontaneous production by the miraculous students of MUD - Master in Urban Design, UC Berkeley, 2017


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Issue 1  

The Cycle of Life and Death

Issue 1  

The Cycle of Life and Death