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Housing Agency System: Mass-Customization System for Housing

Michael Bergin, Kyle Steinfeld

ACSA International Conference
2012

Abstract

The field of architecture and houses demands a radical re-invention of methodology in order to scale design and regain agency in the design of dwellings. The design of houses has become a highly mechanized process with the most recently available data indicating a maximum of only 28% of houses have direct involvement with an architect or licensed design professional. The vast majority of homes in the United States have been built using mass-production tract housing methods where similar home plans are copied, mirrored and rotated to create standardized communities. Architects have the ability to improve the quality of these environments but have been disempowered in the design of houses. There is no shortage of design talent; in 2010 there were as many unemployed architects as all the homes built by the five largest home-builders in the United States. To ameliorate this unfortunate condition, The authors propose a design system called the Housing Agency System (HAS) that combines Multi-Objective Optimization algorithms with Building Information Modeling parametric software allowing for architects to loosely prescribe designs by establishing constraints and relationships algorithmically. These complex models are then customized to the unique needs of each individual family and site-specific climactic conditions using optimization technology. A search model built to explore a design space called the flexible parametric model (FPM) manipulates parameters either through a brute force method or using a search method such as genetic algorithm or simulated annealing to generate a candidate population of designs and find the most satisfactory solutions.

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