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the technologies of

open-source architecture stephanie cass (章飛妮) Global Track Dual Degree UHM+Tongji Master's Thesis


章 飛 妮

Architecture as the culmination of design expertise and up-to-date knowledge of the world, not merely a by-product of necessity, is something that has traditionally been limited to the elite few. It still is. Occasionaly a truly progressive client may commission a project with the “little people” in mind, but the

methodology of prefabrication. It’s important to note that I see it important to emphasize and increase in quality as well as choice. By front-loading design, with wellorganized databases of information defining the architectural “products” offered, the end user can have an easy and fun experience in creating their

as locating the factories, contractors, raw material sources, highest housing demand areas, etc., and producing a document that digests the raw information about the current state of architecture manufacturing into a single document. I would also like to open myself to the prefab processes of such places as Germany,

general public by and large has almost no control over their built world. Even lobbyists for public interest are separate from physical architecture by a bureaucratic process of policy change. On the theoretical level, I’m’ interested in exploring ways to put design power into the hands of smaller groups or individuals without disenfranchising the expertise of architects.

space without having to know the details of construction or sustainability or availability of materials, etc.

where they have a reputation for high quality and widespread use of prefab buildings. In short, the first step is outlining the current state of prefab.

Obviously my thoughts are in very early stages, but I do believe new technologies will make this more possible. In particular, I am interested in the mass-customization effect of opensource and interactive production combined with the

While this sounds great, my first step would be to demystify for myself the actual manufacturing process of architecture. I think China is a very applicable environment for experimentation and ultimately implementation of a model of place-making that leverages a product mindset to the advantage of everyday people. Prefabrication is a research interest of the summer internship firm (CSCEC) and I hope to begin exploration into my topic even there. This might entail some infographic processing such

Next I would like to start drawing conclusions about the implications about the benefits and limitations of a product mindset and begin to test design-tocreation processes against the criteria such as level of customer interaction and identifying who (demographic or entity) this could benefit. More broadly, I hypothesize that more control in the hands of people will add to the push for healthier cities, by letting the organism selforganize.


Research Topic & Abstract