Design through Computation: An Exploration in Space Layout Planning Towards Mass Customization of Housing

By Aaron Sprecher and Basem Eid Mohamed.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the application of computational techniques in problem solving. Specifically, it examines the use of a software add-on in the realm of space layout planning, to enable customization in the housing industry. The paper first proposes a comprehensive system to enable mass customization of housing, based on analysis of various concepts of mass customization, in addition to industry applications. Then, a generative design model is proposed for the problem of space layout design. The model derives its logic from the concept of physical simulation and implemented through a computer model that enables easy exploration and visualization of solutions. This paper represents a phase from an ongoing research endeavour to enable efficient customization in the housing industry through employing computational methods in design and production.

Keywords: Mass Customization, Space-layout Planning, Physical Modeling

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.35-45. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 497.227KB).

Prof. Aaron Sprecher

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, School of Architecture, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Aaron Sprecher has been an assistant professor at the School of Architecture in the Faculty of Engineering, McGill University since 2008. In parallel, he is co-founder and partner of Open Source Architecture, an international collaborative research group that brings together leading international researchers in the fields of design, engineering, media research, history and theory. He completed his graduate studies at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design (Israel) and the University of Californi--Los Angeles. His research and design work focuses on the synergy between information technologies, computational languages and automated digital systems, examining the way in which technology informs and generates innovative approaches to design processes. Beside numerous publications and exhibitions, he has lectured in many institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Cooper Union, and Harvard University. He is a recipient of research grants, most recently, awarded with the prestigious Canada Foundation for Innovation award and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grants.

Dr. Basem Eid Mohamed

PhD Candidate, School of Architecture, McGill University, Verdun, Qc, Canada

Basem has completed his Doctoral degree at McGill University School of Architecture. His research focuses on the application of cutting-edge computational design tools and techniques to enable mass customization in the housing industry, specifically in the realm of prefab. He received a Mitacs research grant in 2010-11 to explore the applicability of such an approach within the structure of a leading prefabricated housing company in Quebec province, Canada. Besides a couple of publications, he has taught at AAST in Alexandria-Egypt, as well as at McGill School of Architecture. Additionally, Basem has collaborated with a number of Montreal architectural firms on some residential and commercial projects.