Theses - Architecture


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 79
  • ItemEmbargo
    The influence of planning interventions on the evolution of neighbourhood deprivation in London
    Ying, Yue
    The aim of this dissertation is to study the city-region level impacts of urban planning, regeneration and development interventions on neighbourhood deprivation over time, using London as the main case study. Those interventions are often considered by many working in planning and design as instrumental to uplifting the quality of life of the neighbourhoods through better housing, increased economic activity and improved environmental conditions. However, so far, city-region level investigations are rare. Lack of good quality data and effective statistical and econometric tools are shown to be the main barriers to carrying out city-region level analyses of such impacts. To fill the important gap in the field, a novel panel dataset is established at the Census Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA) level from 1998 to 2015 through incorporating the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) with a wide range of neighbourhood level data, including the designations and adoptions of Opportunity Areas (OA) and Regeneration Areas (RA), the completion of housing and other floorspace, house prices, earnings and crime rates in the context of the specific development trends among the London boroughs. To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive and fine-grained dataset assembled to date. I then apply a series of interlinked econometric models which include pooled ordinary least squares (OLS), fixed effect (FE) panel with borough-level clustering effects and generalised methods of moments (GMM) regressions to the established dataset. Through exploiting the fact that the pooled OLS and FE models are respectively biased upwards and downwards with the quantification of the autoregressive effects, I was able to check and refine the GMM models which are theoretically expected to be superior. I also take into account a significant extent of spatial spillover effects in this modelling. The findings from the case study show that, having controlled for a wide range of lagged and simultaneous influences, the strategic planning initiatives that are represented by the OA, RA and housing developments have had a highly significant influence on the deprivation reduction in Greater London. This demonstrates the value of strategic planning through the successive London Plans. The analyses and modelling have also uncovered a number of areas for improved data specification and collection, which have the potential to refine the resolution of the results.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Foldable Structures and Materials
    Choma, Joseph
    Folding is a systematic method that transforms planar material into three-dimensional geometries with structural depth. Through precise calibration, flexible folded hinges can become rigid—capable of withstanding structural loads. Depending on the organization of folds, structures can be flat-packed for ease of transport. Folding can also provide the potential to reduce production costs associated with the complexity of manufacturing parts which have Gaussian curvature. By beginning with a simple flat plane and then folding it, there is the possibility to fabricate geometries which are globally doubly curved but locally developable. Additionally, there are numerous variations possible with one systematic method. This research seeks to move beyond origami–the art of folding paper—by embracing material and structural constraints. Primarily, I am inventing new fabrication methods and material logic to expand the possibilities of translating paper folding to materials which have the potential to scale up. In particular, more efficient methods to manufacture parts are being developed in direct dialogue with industry to embrace folding as a means to tackle manufacturing applications including: lightweight deployable structures, ultra-thin formwork for concrete casting, and stay-in-place formwork for shell structures and concrete slabs. At a moment when anything is possible to build, this research also challenges the ethics of construction in the built environment. Just because we can build something with our current means and methods doesn’t mean we should. Foldable structures and materials is one exciting trajectory towards building a more sustainable future.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Modernising Britain: The Work and Life of Sir Leslie Martin (1908-2000)
    Ruamsanitwong, Natcha
    This research examines the role of the architect, educator and researcher Sir Leslie Martin in facilitating Modernism in Britain. Martin had a long and remarkable career, spanning over sixty years. As an architect, Martin is famously known for the design of the Royal Festival Hall (1948-1951) and the controversial Whitehall masterplan (1964-1970). As an educator, Martin is widely regarded as one of the key figures who modernised architectural education in post-war Britain. Among other things, he chaired the 1958 Oxford Conference and reformed architectural training at Cambridge School of Architecture (1956-1972). Despite his many achievements, his reputation has remained principally that of an ‘architect’s architect’. Based on detailed archival research and personal recollections, this research seeks to construct a biography of Martin as a means to revise and add to the current literature on his contribution to the field of architecture. This thesis intends to read as more than a mere report on the materials collected but an interpretation that does justice to Martin’s contribution to the breadth and diversity of the issues with which he was involved.
  • ItemEmbargo
    A new jointly estimated model of young adults’ decisions to leave their parental homes and to choose new residential locations
    Luo, Yusi
    The increase in the number of young adults living with their parents in the last 20 years has attracted considerable attention in the press and literature at a global scale. In the UK, for example, the number of young adults between the ages of 20 and 34 living with their parents is said to have risen by 37.5% over two decades according to one recent source, but the extent of the rise and the underlying mechanisms are not yet well understood. This dissertation aims to better understand the decisions to remain/leave parental homes and the subsequent choices, in the case of leaving, to move to new residential destinations by linking them together. The focus is motivated by a long-lasting separation of demographic and sociological investigations on leaving parental homes on the one hand, and the spatial economic studies on locational choices and movements to new residential destinations on the other. This separation has resulted in a gap in knowledge and quantification that we aim to fill. We hypothesise that these two choice decisions are interdependent, and the quality of quantification will benefit from them being modelled jointly. The research has produced a new statistical modelling approach that makes sense and quantifies the trade-offs by jointly considering the young adults’ own circumstances, their parents’ circumstances, the locational attributes where their parents live, and the attributes of the destinations within the choice sets of their moves. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first theoretical and empirical model of its kind in the literature. To develop and test this model, we build on the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) by supplementing with related data to enable robust estimation that relates the decision outcomes with young adults’ own personal attributes, their families’ attributes, and locational attributes of their parents’ residential areas. For those who decided to move, we also consider the locational attributes of the new places they choose to live. Our data analysis has discovered serious panel attrition biases in the UKHLS which we address through panel gap filling and inverse probability weighting. We then develop separately single-tier models for decisions to remain/leave home and for choices of new residential locations in line with the existing literature. Subsequently, we build a joint model for those choices to allow for a clear comparison. Non-graduates and graduates are modelled separately. The model results have uncovered three new findings. Firstly, the jointly estimated model provides unambiguous evidence that single-tier models without this link between them lead to far poorer model fit and less robust quantifications of the effects. Secondly, the models quantify, for the first time, the extent to which affordable housing and accessibility to jobs affect young adults’ propensity to leave the parental home and choose their own residential locations. Contrary to conventional wisdom, both non-graduates and graduates are sensitive to both housing costs and job access, and their differences are relatively small. However, there are strong indications of restricted social mobility over the period: graduates whose at least one parent is educated to a degree level are more likely to move to districts with high accessibility to jobs. Thirdly, it is important to separately estimate models for non-graduates and graduates due to the significant differences uncovered by our analyses and modelling regarding the young adults’ personal attributes and the attributes of their parents. These findings are set to revolutionise how future spatial equilibrium models represent young adults’ decisions and choices. The research conducted in this study has not only contributed to the current understanding of the topic but has also set a new research agenda for the future. One of the most significant areas for further exploration is the utilization of the quantifications presented in this dissertation within the framework of integrated spatial equilibrium modelling. As we move forward, it would be beneficial to integrate the newly developed model into such frameworks, especially in research schemes aimed at testing policies that support young adults in socioeconomically disadvantaged regions. This integration will provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of policy interventions and their impact on the decision-making processes of young adults, ultimately contributing to the development of evidence-based strategies to address their unique challenges and needs.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Enriching Urban Thermal Experience: Thermal Pleasure Around Urban Public Places
    Peng, Zhikai
    Positive urban thermal experience depends on both the non-extremity and variability of thermal stress in the built environment. To date, the majority of outdoor thermal comfort research has proposed to mitigate thermal extremes while overlooking the contribution from the richness of thermal conditions comprising those mild and ever-changing thermal stimuli. The fundamental research question of this thesis examines what makes the outdoor thermal experience around urban public places neither extreme nor boring. Urban districts in central London, Paris, Vienna, Cambridge and Rome were chosen as the study areas, each having its own unique climatic, spatial, social, and cultural context. A wide range of outdoor thermal conditions were investigated at the courtyard and district levels, where the in-situ human physiological and psychological responses at dynamic states were monitored for follow-up data analysis. The data collections are multidisciplinary, including numerical simulations, fixed and mobile meteorological monitoring, as well as transect walk surveys with physiological measurements and psychological questionnaires. The data-analytic techniques feature the (co-)variance analysis, multiple linear regression, unsupervised machine learning, and hybrid clustering algorithms. All of these approaches emphasise the importance of integrating the built-environmental and human factors into assessing the outdoor environmental qualities of historic urban districts or new urban designs, especially for evaluating the thermal experience of pedestrians in both sedentary and motional states. The contributions of this thesis lie in connecting the classic adaptive-thermal comfort theories and the new thermal alliesthesia and thermal pleasure theories in real urban environments. Through the simulation-based thermal mapping and the human-centred survey campaigns, the core hypotheses were tested that compact urban districts with suitable nature- and water-based solutions can effectively improve urban thermal diversity, and that enriched thermal environments can significantly promote outdoor thermal pleasure, walkability and general urban experience. The final conclusions have enabled further discussions on climate-responsive and sensation-inclusive urban designs for promoting thermal performance, thermal health and thermal wellbeing.
  • ItemEmbargo
    From efficiency to sufficiency: Socio-technical analysis of the role of design, marketing, and users in shaping domestic comfort practices and Air Conditioning use in Jordan
    Razem, Maiss
    In light of the climate emergency, and the projected rise in global energy demand, especially in the Global South, there is an urgent need to make housing more sustainable. This is especially warranted considering the cooling demand is expected to triple globally by 2050. However, current energy policies have been criticised for under-achieving their targets and for taking increased comfort standards as given, thus naturalising the ‘needs’ without questioning how this demand is constructed. Taking Amman in Jordan as a case study, this thesis analyses the influence of multiple actors on energy demand. The study adopts a practice-based approach to capture the interwovenness of the social processes that have constituted, and equally escalated, the need for domestic energy demand. Design, marketing, and user practices are analysed. Drawing from interviews, archive research and participatory video diaries, the research asks: Where do aspirations and ‘needs’ for certain design decisions originate from within design practices? What kind of role does marketing play in normalising domestic AC? How do users respond to the design and use of AC in their ventilation practices and use of appliances, and how do these practices change during the heatwave? In order to understand architects’ practices and motivations in housing, and green design projects, the research first investigates how design decisions are negotiated between homeowners and architects, focusing on materiality and spatial configurations. Interviews with the residents of two ‘green homes’ are conducted to get their insight on the design process and thermal comfort. The findings reveal architects as active partakers in shaping energy demand and spatial ‘needs’, driven by aesthetic tendencies and underlying cultural and professional norms, which remained influential even in the design of ‘green homes’, where it resulted in the residents’ experiencing thermal discomfort. Next, the research analyses the role of marketing in normalising domestic AC in Jordan, investigated through archive research and advertisement analysis, between 1971 and 2019. The analysis shows that marketing has actively contributed to the acceptance of AC in Jordan, also through mobilising emotional prescriptions over time. Finally, the research focuses on the female end-users’ domestic and thermal comfort practices, and AC use during a normal summer in Amman, and during an exceptional heatwave in September of 2020. The interview and participatory video diary analysis uncovered sensory and gendered comfort perceptions that were negotiated against the performance of interconnected domestic practices, such as cooking, cleaning, and sleeping, challenging the narrow definitions of engineering-based thermal comfort conventions that assume ventilation is thermally motivated. The thesis contributes to energy and housing studies by: a) looking at domestic thermal comfort perceptions, AC use and increasing energy demand simultaneously from three different perspectives (designers, marketing, users), b) adopting an empirically driven practice-based approach to better understand energy use characteristics in middle-income households in non-Western context (Jordan), visualised through the participants’ video diaries focusing on women’s perspectives, and c) by doing so, the thesis questions the need for domestic AC in countries with temperate climates.
  • ItemOpen Access
    THE ART AND SCIENCE OF TRANSFORMABLE ARCHITECTURE: Geometry Theory for 2 Bar Scissor-Hinged and Expandable Origami-Scissor Hinged Deployable Structures
    Rivas-Adrover, Esther
    Deployable structures can transform and/or expand and contract due to their geometrical, material and mechanical properties. This technology enables an architecture that can be transportable, mobile, adaptable, rapidly built, reusable and that makes efficient use of space and materials and therefore embraces the concept of sustainability. Currently, a wide range of deployable structures are being generated by different disciplines, in many different types of materials and that can vary hugely in scale and application. This is a relatively new field of research, and contemporary literature is made mostly of dislocated studies, where one by one, a new structure is developed, without an understanding of how different deployable structures relate to one another. While contemporary research has placed a lot of emphasis on structural efficiency, material properties and actuators, this research focuses on their geometry in order to generate a comprehensive understanding that can also lead to architectural innovation. This research proposes that different deployable structures can share common geometric properties. By carrying out an analysis of scissor-hinged case studies, this research has created a visual framework that explains the geometry of these structures. This visual framework illustrates how the scissor hinged case studies have gradually evolved over time, increasing in complexity. This understanding has led to the creation of several geometric methods for scissor hinged deployable structures as well as thick origami that have generated architectural innovation as demonstrated by the case studies and built prototypes, therefore increasing our knowledge of what can be achieved with this technology. The research outcomes also challenge the categorical approach towards the understanding of different types of deployable structures, in particular through the creation of a new hybrid type of deployable structure: Origami-Scissor hinged. The significance in expanding the knowledge of what it is possible to achieve with deployable structures reverberates throughout multiple disciplines and exists at the very intersection of science and art. As well as exemplifying a sustainable emerging technology for architecture, deployable structures are being included in books of history of art in various educational centres in the world. These are also reusable and light structures that contribute to science and society in different dimensions: in a world constantly in change, they can provide accommodation in transitional stages of migrations and natural disasters, they can create adaptable environments and rapid construction strategies in permanent architecture, they can be used in stage design for entertainment. Deployable structures are also used in the International Space Station for space architecture; they are also used for satellites that facilitate world communication and for solar arrays that gather energy from the Sun. Therefore, to expand our knowledge of what is possible to achieve with deployable structures can significantly contribute to architecture on Earth and in space, as well as the complex multidisciplinary fields with which the subject engages.
  • ItemEmbargo
    The Architectural Patronage of John, 2nd Duke of Montagu (1690-1749)
    Schuster, Jana Christina; Schuster, Jana [0000-0003-1482-0061]
    This thesis offers the first complete study of the English domestic architectural projects of John Montagu, 2nd Duke of Montagu (1690-1749). Montagu held key offices at court and in the military as Master of the Great Wardrobe (1709-49) and Master-General of the Board of Ordnance (1740-42, 1742-49), and was an important patron of learned societies, Huguenots, the arts and Freemasonry. This thesis examines Montagu’s newly-accessible private archives, institutional records and papers found in local record societies, as well as studying all surviving building fabric. The thesis establishes the nature of Montagu’s domestic architectural output, addresses issues of patronage, the extent of his personal involvement in the design process, and the working methods to execute his vision. It analyses themes that emerge across his building projects, including his pragmatism and ideas relating to medievalism. His interest in Gothic Revival and antiquarian study is examined as part of his mission to revive seigneurial rights and establish his comparatively new dynasty amongst Britain’s leading nobility. I argue that his use of heraldry and architectural salvage to create his schemes was a particular and characteristic manifestation of these ideas. The impact of his Huguenot education, professional positions and financial circumstances on his architecture are considered. I establish his long working relationship with the architect Henry Flitcroft (1697-1769) and the significance of his patronage of surveyors and cartographers in relation to his estates and architecture are addressed. By situating Montagu as an important but hitherto largely overlooked figure of the first half of eighteenth-century Britain, I argue that the scale and nature of his architectural work and patronage make him a significant figure in the architectural landscape of the period. By considering his dynastic ambition and seigneurial revival programme as a central part of his motivations for the creation of his medievalist schemes, this thesis contributes to current debates over the meaning and motivations for the Gothic Revival in eighteenth-century England.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Active Urbanism: Improving population health based on physiological and socio-psychological experiments
    Boldina, Anna
    Inactivity is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in economically developed countries. Physical activity has been shown to have a significant positive effect on health and well-being, preventing and treating cardio-respiratory diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and obesity, as well as depression and anxiety. Although the above facts are widely known, engaging sedentary people in exercise has been difficult in practice. This thesis explores the potential of urban design to provide and encourage inclusive, natural, pleasant, easily accessible exercise incorporated into walking for all income, age, physical ability and occupational groups as part of their daily travels through the city. While most of the past research on the effect of the built environment on physical activity has focused on quantity, this work also considers quality of physical activity, particularly more natural and diverse movement involving the whole body, similar to hiking. It draws on existing scientific knowledge from other disciplines, such as physiology and sociopsychology, to balance the effectiveness of the exercise with accessibility and attractiveness for people with a wide range of physical abilities. This ‘Active Urbanism’ concept employs shapes and surfaces – such as cobblestones, steppingstones, steep slopes, large steps, and balancing beams – placed on urban routes to encourage people to walk more and with a greater variety of movements, leading to greater health benefits. The biokinetic theme determines the health benefits for individuals, whilst the sociological theme relates to the potential proportion of the population reached and the best ways to achieve this reach. Both aspects are important for estimating and maximizing the overall potential benefit to population health. Interventions aimed at the whole population may have small effect sizes at the individual level, but have very wide reach, leading to substantial overall impact on the population. The findings of this research demonstrate the nature, range and reach of health benefits associated with Active Urbanism and how it can be applied to the design of urban environments. Methodologically, the thesis also reveals that a multidisciplinary approach is important when it comes to the practice of designing and implementing healthy environments – a topic that has gained growing attention in recent decades.
  • ItemEmbargo
    A Cinematic Approach to the Practice of Everyday Life: The Case of the Beijing Hutong
    Sun, Yiqiao
    To improve design quality and reduce the performance gap between the architects’ intentions and the users’ operations, ordinary practitioner’s daily socio-spatial experiences should be taken into account as a complementary or examination phase in the prevailing ‘top-down’ mode of decision-making. In such a context, this PhD research sheds light on people’s most quotidian activities augmented by atmospheric experiences in daily lived spaces, and aims to ignite ‘bottom-up’ perspectives to perceive and conceive the inhabited environments, as a way to complement current architectural and planning discourses and practices. Regarding the fact that the everyday life is one of the hardest features to be grasped, film presents us with a chance to peek into others’ lives on account of its capability of providing abundant evidence of human lived experiences that are often taken for granted. In this light, the thesis uses film as a lens to probe into the lived and practised spaces in Beijing’s Hutong neighbourhoods, and thus broadening the existing knowledge of this dwelling type within the scope of the everyday. With the help of digital tools, lived data of Hutong dwellers’ daily practices (time of the day, quotidian activities, social relations, spatial categories, sensations and emotions, etc.) are harnessed, annotated, labelled and searched from a film archive. In addition, this PhD work develops a theoretical framework analogous to the ‘acupuncture’ theory – namely ‘urban skin’, ‘everyday acupoint’ and ‘narrative meridian’ – proposing novel cinematic analytical tools to grasp the complex phenomena that constitute the lived-and-felt city. Finally, an ethnographic observation is conducted in the contemporary Hutong neighbourhood as a proof of concept. By offering insights into the lived city through the eyes of ordinary users, this cinematic approach helps reveal the experiential, social and emotional facet of Beijing’s old city that is otherwise largely disregarded, and such a humanistic-based approach has the potential to be applicable to other urban contexts.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Computer-aided space planning for residential layouts: case-based learning and designer-computer interaction
    Xiao, Ran; Xiao, Ran [0000-0001-5741-0463]
    Space planning is an important aspect of architectural design. It is the process by which available space is differentiated into zones for particular purposes. In existing literature, a wide range of computational methods have been applied to space planning with a view to automating the process. However, such research was limited by tractability and knowledge extraction issues, and a lack of research into how designers use automated design tools in practice. To address the tractability and knowledge extraction issues, a general data-driven direction was adopted for this research. In this thesis, contemporary residential flat layout design in the UK was studied as an example problem in space planning. The problem was addressed in two separate tasks. The first task was estimating the feasibility of flat types to obtain a realistic brief for a given footprint. The second task was to generate a layout based on a brief for a given footprint. A prototype program was built for each of these two tasks. Prototype Program 1 used a Random Forest classifier that learned from a dataset and estimated flat types for a given footprint. Prototype Program 2 applied a novel case-based learning framework. It used the shape and context of footprints as an index to retrieve existing cases as grating layouts and then used an optimisation method to create new layouts for the given footprints. To research how designers interact with automated design tools, the final part of this thesis reports the design and results of experiments conducted with a panel of eight designers. The experiment examined human-computer interactions with the designers under two contrasting models using a Wizard-of-Oz technique. The designers’ responses were recorded in interviews and analysed in detail. This research contributes to the understanding of data-driven space planning, particularly to the expanded use of grating representation and footprint shape-context as an indexing method. The study of the interaction between human designers and computer software provided insight into vi important issues such as design agency, explainability and design exploration, when integrating automated tools into design practice.
  • ItemEmbargo
    A Deep Learning Framework for Investigating Spatio-temporal Evolution of Land Use and Land Cover Patterns
    Zhu, Yue; Zhu, Yue [0000-0002-3154-9659]
    As the global population continues to aggregate in urban areas, numerous cities are rapidly growing along with substantial impacts on climate change, biodiversity, food production, and social-economic inequality. This makes it urgent to understand the changes in urban Land-use and Land-cover (LULC) patterns. At present, the understanding of the spatio-temporal evolution of LULC patterns is heavily constrained by the lack of efficient and precise methods of mapping and predicting LULC changes, particularly for the areas that have few established data sources. The main aim of the research is to fill this gap and develop a modelling framework to investigate urban LULC changes with the necessary efficiency and precision. The research makes use of publicly available multi-temporal Remote Sensing (RS) data. The use of such datasets to study large-scale urban regions is made feasible through the adoption of Deep Learning (DL)-based methods. The hypothesis of this study is DL methods could substantially facilitate the mapping and prediction of the changes in LULC patterns, particularly the transitions between LULC classes, by exploiting the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of time series RS data. To examine this hypothesis, this study proposes and tests a novel DL-based modelling framework, which consists of a LULC classification module and a LULC prediction module. The logic of the proposed framework is employing the classification module to generate multi-temporal LULC maps, which are then employed as the input for the prediction module to project changes in LULC patterns. In the classification module, a method of post-classification relearning with recurrent convolutional neural network models is developed for improving the accuracy of multi-temporal LULC classification. Also, a DL-based image super-resolution method is developed for contributing to accuracy gains of multi-temporal LULC classification. As for the prediction module, a tailored DL-based ensemble framework is proposed for LULC prediction, the proposed method adopts transformers as the base learners to handle spatio-temporal features and incorporates an attention mechanism to indicate feature importance. The proposed prediction method is also tested for simulating likely scenarios with different urban expansion rates. The research contributes to the advancement of knowledge about (i) exploiting state-of-the-art DL methods for mapping the spatio-temporal heterogeneity of LULC patterns at granular level, (ii) developing interpretable DL methods for indicating feature importance in LULC prediction, and (iii) integrating multiple DL methods into a modelling framework for LULC prediction based on RS data. Notably, although the research focuses on the patterns of LULC changes, the proposed framework can be generalizable and applicable in other studies associated with time series geospatial data.
  • ItemEmbargo
    A study of street network configurations using deep learning
    Fang, Zhou
    This dissertation develops a new modelling system based on deep learning for the study and design of street network configurations. It aims to fill an existing gap in the use of deep learning in this field, through hypothesising that convolutional neural network (CNN) and generative adversarial network (GAN) models can make a revolutionary breakthrough (like in many geometry and image-intensive fields) if a modelling system is designed to suit the nature of street network configurations and the processes for designing them. This new modelling system consists of three components. First, a thirteen-channel urban fabric image generation module, UrbanFramer, that provides a new way to represent the physical urban fabric as image patches. By integrating datasets of high-resolution 3D built form, road network data and topography of the landform, this module generates image patches as inputs for urban fabric classification and street network generation. Secondly, an urban fabric classification module, UrbanClassifier, which takes the image patches from UrbanFramer and classifies them into morphology types using a CNN. The novelty is characterised by a unique approach of assimilating urban fabric features across multiple spatial scales and viewpoints. Furthermore, a transfer learning process in this module provides a semi-automatic way to expand and incorporate specialist planning knowledge when labelling the image patches for deep learning-based street network generation. Thirdly, a street network design module, StreetGEN, which combines human and machine intelligence to support city-specific, contextual street network configuration design. The core of the machine intelligence consists of two GAN models, PlanStreet and TopoStreet, which learn from existing street network configuration samples and provide near-real-time design suggestions that incorporate, respectively, human guidance and local topographic conditions. Users are able to progressively and iteratively input their domain knowledge and creativity in street network design. StreetGEN turns the existing one-way, learning-based street network image generation into iterative human-computer interaction. The above modules have been put through systematic tests using purpose-built datasets created by UrbanFramer in two groups of case study areas: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin and Prague in the development of UrbanClassifier, PlanStreet, and Siena, Perugia, Rome and Florence in the development of TopoStreet. The case study tests produce four key findings regarding the capabilities and potential of deep learning. First, equipped with multiple spatial scales and viewpoints, UrbanClassifier has very significantly improved the predictive performance, outperforming the hitherto state-of-art benchmark CNN model for image classification on all three urban fabric classification tasks by 0.14, 0.22 and 0.24 in terms of F1-Score. Secondly, through transfer learning, UrbanClassifier has performed urban fabric classification for new cities with much reduced needs of manual labelling for training. When transferring to a new city, UrbanClassifier only requires 25% of labelled data from a new city to attain what is achieved by it directly trained on full data. In other words, with UrbanClassifier, manual labelling required for classifying new cities can be significantly reduced. The expanded dataset, in turn, offers the potential to build an ever-growing database of real-world street network configurations for deep learning. Thirdly, by introducing a modest amount of human guidance on road junction locations and pattern types, PlanStreet has shown to be far more capable of reproducing the ground truth street networks than in an automatic-only prediction mode. Taking less than 40% of the ground truth junction information as input guidance, PlanStreet is able to predict street configurations at the same level of precision as that of existing learning-based models with 100% of the ground truth junction information. Fourthly, by introducing local topography, TopoStreet has outperformed benchmark models for cities in hilly areas, by sharply narrowing the prediction performance differences between flat and hilly areas, from 17.02% to 3.56% in Absolute Percentage Error for Length-Weighted Metric Choice. In summary, the design and use of this modelling system have proven that CNN and GAN models can make a real contribution to the geometrical modelling and design of street networks. This fills an existing gap in this field. Furthermore, the modelling system has designed and tested a human-machine interaction process that enables professionals and laypersons to test, near real-time, alternative designs that follow and respect local planning and topography contexts. This opens up practical applications of deep learning in the field of street network configuration design.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Urban densification, social capital, and domestic energy demand: Neighbourhood restructuring in Jinan City, China
    Li, Xin; Li, Xin [0000-0001-8169-4267]
    The urban population in China has grown from around 190 million in 1980 to over 800 million in 2020 – this is about twice the total population of the United States and 1.5 times the total population of the European Union. Driven by policy, China’s rapid urbanisation has gone hand-in-hand with densification, especially for housing. Yet current urban restructuring policy in China, with a technological template and economic focus, hardly considers the lived experience of residents. The policy also fails to address patterns of energy consumption from the demand-side, i.e. how the domestic energy patterns have been shaped and what influences them. Drawing from a practice theory perspective, this research aims to bridge this gap by capturing the households’ lived experience and energy use, in a restructured high-rise, high-density neighbourhood. This research focuses on the role of materiality in shaping domestic practices in Jinan, Shandong Province, China, distinguishing between “stayers” and “newcomers” in the area. The research asks: what are the effects of neighbourhood restructuring on social capital and domestic energy demand, and its implications on policy and design? The study adopts a practice-based approach to understand the lived experience and energy use. The focus is less on density as a ratio and more on how density is produced, experienced, perceived, negotiated, and contested. By using a mixed-methods approach, including in-depth interviews, questionnaire survey, observations, transect walks, document analysis, and “home tours”, a comprehensive understanding of the changing materiality (building design, technologies, appliances, and energy infrastructure) and culture, norms, and values behind their practices is developed. The research reveals that the neighbourhood restructuring in the case study neighbourhood has led to a general decline in the neighbourhood’s social capital, and to an increase in domestic energy demand, challenging the concept of sustainability paradigm of compact forms. The findings suggest that, in fact, densification may also accelerate unsustainable, digitalised, and indoor-oriented lifestyles as unforeseen consequences of the densified high-rise typology. This is reflected as: a) the “stayers” who have moved from courtyard housing, have shifted from outdoor-oriented practices to indoor-oriented patterns, resulting in an increased appliance ownership at home, as well as a low-frequency-bathing and high-frequency-showering pattern; and b) the “newcomers” who in the survey were identified to consume the highest level of domestic energy, associated with extended families, usage of pre-installed central AC system, digitalisation of studying, socialising, and entertainment practices at home especially among children, and minimal use of the outdoor space. The study draws policy and design recommendations, and expands the application of practice-based theories to the context of domestic energy demand in China. It adds to the limited research on energy demand as an outcome of social practices in a non-Western context.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Thermal Comfort and Spatial Variability: A Study of Traditional Courtyard Houses in the Hot Dry Climate of Khartoum, Sudan
    (2001-09-21) Merghani, Abubakr
    This study investigates thermal comfort conditions in traditional courtyard houses in Khartoum, Sudan. The aim is to compare these conditions to the predictions and recommendations of international standards to assess the existence of any discrepancy between the two. It also studies occupants' space-use patterns and the effect of utilising spatial variability offered by traditional houses on occupants' thermal satisfaction level. The study follows established methodologies in thermal comfort fieldwork research. The fieldwork, conducted in Khartoum, lasted for six-month (January to June 2000) covering winter, spring and summer months and collecting data from eleven subjects in four houses. Eleven experiments were conducted each lasting between 5-14 days producing 1772 data sets. Comparison of the findings of the thermal comfort survey with international standards highlighted a significant discrepancy, which has direct implications on energy consumption in air-conditioned buildings. Examining occupants' space-use patterns revealed that people were going about their daily life inside traditional houses in a manner that ensured low levels of thermal discomfort. However, a range of social, functional and cultural factors took precedence over thermal comfort in certain situations/times. An observational study showed that occupants of traditional courtyard houses adopted a wide range of adaptive behavioural responses in their quest for comfort in hot conditions (e.g. traditional costumes, use of evaporative cooling, drinking cold/hot drinks, change of activity level and posture, etc.). The study concluded that applying passive design principles in Sudan will not only ensure good levels of thermal comfort in naturally-ventilated buildings, but will also reduce energy consumption.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Arriving through Infrastructures: Berlin's institutional shelters for refugees 2015-2019
    Parsloe, Toby
    During the so-called ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015 German chancellor Angela Merkel made the historic decision to welcome over one million refugees into the country. Throughout Germany municipal governments created a diverse range of temporary accommodations to house the arrivals, most notably in cities due to a lack of affordable housing. At the end of 2019 in Berlin, over 20,000 refugees were still living in institutional refugee shelter. These structures have come to be key mediators of the ways in which these newcomers have arrived in the city. Refugee shelters have primarily been understood in the context of the rich literature that has developed in recent decades around the ‘camp’ as a complex socio-spatial and political phenomenon. Yet the proliferation of different forms of refugee shelters especially in urban areas requires new theoretical lenses to shed new light on these structures. This thesis focuses on an alternative body of literature that considers the way urban infrastructures shape migration. It considers Berlin’s institutional shelters as part of infrastructural complexes to reveal how infrastructures shape the nature of refugee arrival in the city. It engages with emerging theoretical work on infrastructure and migration as well as presents empirical data obtained through eight months of on-site research that focuses on the quotidian experiences of refugees from their perspectives. It consists of three parts which examine the directional, contradictory, and entangled nature of infrastructure through its construction, calibration, operation, and location in relation to refugee arrival. The first part deepens understandings on the diverse ways that infrastructures sort and channel arrival trajectories to undermine the autonomy of refugee newcomers. The second part analyses the internal spatial dynamics of the shelters to explore the ways their contradictory functions as infrastructure blur the conceptual boundaries between camps, shelter, and housing and limit possibilities to inhabit domestic spaces. The third part explores the ways the urban locations of infrastructure shape everyday encounters and the development of relationships between newcomers and the city. While infrastructures can provide the potential to find stability within the city for refugees to move on from becoming forcibly displaced, the thesis argues that Berlin’s institutional shelters operate as infrastructures which undermine this process and exacerbate the uncanny and unsettling nature of arrival. Instead, refugees find the greatest scope for autonomy in their arrival through existing infrastructures of the city, especially the more informal ‘bottom up’ forms created and operated by existing migrant communities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Performance Architecture: A Performative Architectural Practice
    Schweder, Alexander
    Performance Architecture is a term that emerged from my creative practice to suggest that the architectural activities endeavored within it are influenced by concepts and histories from performance studies. This writing takes aspects of my artistic activities and recontextualizes them as academic research to develop concepts shareable across its fields of inquiry that enable new ways of evaluating it. Particular attention will be given to my performative renovations, in which domestic spaces are renovated by changing its actions rather than materials. In so doing, this thesis discovers the potential of my interdisciplinary practice to be the possibility of encountering unfamiliar subjective affects that emerge as subjects and spaces interact. Following arts-based, practice-led and practice-based research precedents, this thesis articulates a methodology for practicing architecture through performance. Judith Butler’s writing, suggesting that subjectivity is formed performatively by iteratively enacting social norms, is the philosophical point of departure of this new methodology. However, for the formation of subjectivity to become intelligible as an outcome of architectural practice this thesis qualifies, critiques, and problematizes Butler’s performative concepts by putting them in tension with the thinking of other theorists and selected projects from my artistic practice. Analyzing these works through both theory and critical self-reflection observes performative subject formation also occurs somatically. Acknowledgement of this addition is noted when term performance architecture is nuanced by the term performative space making as the thesis develops. Tracing the arc of this shift reveals how migrating attitudes and concepts acquired during my education and professional experience in architecture were detrimental to practicing architecture through performance. Using language developed by this thesis, hierarchical ways of working and assumptions about both the architect’s abilities and the client-participants’ needs are critiqued in comparison to collaborative approaches of theater. Refining performance architecture’s concepts also portray the profession’s object oriented metrics of success as a mainstay of architecture that has not been serving users of space as well as it might. Indeed, these ways of working are found to stymie the emergence of certain kinds of subjectivity that performance architecture as a methodology seeks to liberate and nurture. Further theorization of concepts from performance practices, such as the everyday, agency, renovation, and role-play, allows critical engagement with six performative renovations newly developed for this research. Scrutiny of these performative renovations discovers qualities of practicing architecture performatively and expands the discourse connecting performance and architecture. A key insight invigorating thoughts on future practice is that performance architecture operates emergently along non-linear routes around what this research calls unperformable acts. Additionally, significant revelations show that outcomes of this new practice are most compelling when power relations between architects and clients are equalized and that new subjectivities are encountered through a flow of attention between somatic and symbolic experiences.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Walking in Landscapes of Displacement: The Spatiality of Transcultural Activism
    Huss, Michal
    Though forced displacement is prominent within public, political, and media debates, and within academic research, too often the public image of forcibly displaced persons is that of voiceless victims – or, worse, a threat to national sovereignty. The geo-temporal scale of forced displacement research also tends to focus on instances of border-penetration and emergency accommodation - stressing the boundaries of nation states and a perception of an unprecedented crisis. This study contributes a new perspective to research on forced displacement that goes beyond this ‘moment’ to include both the urban every-day and its cross-generational causes and impacts in a post/colonial context. Crucially, it reframes the debate from the perspective of displaced persons as subjects contextualized within history and the city rather than as outsiders. Using city walking tours led by displaced persons as a multiple case study, it examines how they affect the politics and public memory of the cities they inhabit or pass through. The study focuses on walking tours in two sites of analysis - Berlin and the officially named Jaffa-Tel Aviv municipality - which encompass multiple histories of migration, colonialism, and division. By studying these cities together, the thesis highlights the complex and multi-layered entanglement between cities across the global “north” and “south” divide. In both environments, the research adopts a street-level perspective to study the relationship between national and municipal governance, global politics, spatial imagination, architectural intervention, and the agency of displaced persons to navigate these elements. To study this angle, it utilizes a participatory method of ‘walk-along’ ethnography conducted between 2018-2020, which entailed joining dozens of tours and interviewing tour-guides and participants. The thesis makes a methodological contribution by demonstrating the importance of applying participatory and creative approaches to study the politics of prolonged conflicts and forced displacement. Additionally, it expands the possibilities of walk-along ethnography to include spatial artistic mediums such as photography, montage, and drawing. Utilizing this framework, the study maps the political potential of walking as a collaborative pedagogy and performative representational practice to extend the understandings of agency, belonging, and political participation in the city. My PhD research centres on making visible the perspectives of people who are typically marginalized in official planning, public discourse, policy, and in mainstream media. The most significant findings of this study are that histories of wars, divisions, and colonialism continue to shape the ways cities currently deal with forced displacement. Within this context, it provides new empirical understandings of how displaced persons utilize the genre of the city walking tour to auto-narrate their stories and politics. The focus is on how these tours, as situated within deeply divided and politicised urban contexts, re-narrate the meanings and representations of those cities as they are acted out through tourism and heritage industries. The study therefore advances debates about the politics of urban space and heritage sites by illustrating how tours led by forcibly displaced persons offer a significant de-colonial and cosmopolitan understanding of the places, space-times, and geopolitics of the city. Drawing upon Jacques Ranciere’s discussion of the political, the research extends architectural analyses of the built environment by incorporating the walking body in urban space. It argues that architectural theory and memory studies research should include not only the material environment (e.g., buildings, memorials, ruins, infrastructure), but also how marginalised groups can animate those material landscapes, through their bodies, movements, memories, and stories.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Building Urban Palestine: Jaffa and Nablus 1870-1930
    Abusaada, Nadi; Abusaada, Nadi [0000-0002-8642-6832]
    This dissertation investigates the intersection between urban change and the shifting social, cultural, and political dynamics in late Ottoman and Mandate Palestine. Against standard historiography that reads the history of cities and urban change under imperial and colonial rule from the perspective of dominating powers, this dissertation emphasises the role of the local Palestinian population in conceiving, planning, and shaping their urban environments and spaces within, against, and parallel to the exigencies of imperialism and colonialism. It is primarily a history of the colonised rather than the coloniser. Through a relational historical study of the experiences of the two cities of Jaffa and Nablus, the dissertation probes into the uneven yet interlinked trajectories of Palestine’s urban transformation. It treats the two cities not as more or less modern than one another but as constitutive of a multifaceted process of modernisation that encompassed relations of interdependence and rivalry between cities and within them. To do this, the dissertation draws on spatial and architectural analysis coupled with extensive archival research. In treating the spatiality and materiality of urban environments as the main lens to read historical urban processes and dynamics, it contributes to emerging critical scholarship in architectural and urban studies, imperial and colonial histories, and area studies. The dissertation is structured around four interrelated themes, comprising its main vehicles for interpreting urban change: inter-urban relations, urban industries, urban governance, and urban public life. It shows how these elements contributed to the continuities that characterised Palestine’s transition from Ottoman to British rule, challenging the idea of a rupture between the two historical periods. It further demonstrates how, more than a mere setting for other dynamics, the city had turned into a primary interest throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, inviting overlapping and contradictory visions for the future of urban Palestine.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Additive Manufacturing of lignocellulosic composites for riverine resilience
    Gutierrez, Maria Paz; Gutierrez, Maria Paz [0000-0001-6288-6327]
    Composites made of plant residues from agricultural and forestry productions offer unique environmental, health, and socioeconomic benefits as construction materials. However, controlling the porosity and surface conditions of building enclosures crucial to preventing moisture and deterioration pervasiveness during and post-flooding remains a challenge. Fused deposition modelling can enable lightweight components to be produced with customised designs and functionalities for use in construction panels including in flood risk zones. Unlike other 3D printing processes, FDM involves only melting and extrusion, rendering it advantageous for plant residue composites. But are FDM products scalable and factually resilient for construction applications as in sites subject to flooding? We lack knowledge on sorptivity properties or size increase implications on material functionalities. Advancing our understanding of mechanic-structure interdependence and size increase effects is critical to overcoming scalability hurdles essential for exterior construction applications. Experimental research methods were implemented from the nano-micro to the integral scale to identify porosity, particle-binder interface, thermal, and sorptivity properties. Bio-based thermoplastics PLA-PHA blends recognized in literature and industry as the most efficient FDM matrices were chosen. Residues of bamboo and cork were selected as fillers of PLA-PHA matrices due to their combined waste production volume output, microstructure diversity, and unique mechanical, thermal, water uptake properties and their use in commercial FDM filaments. The transitional border of the Northwestern Amazon was used as a riparian context under severe socioeconomic and flood risk impact with a long tradition of plant-based building enclosures. This study constitutes the first evaluation of FDM composites under wet-dry cycles across all length scales. Cork composites displayed superior water and thermal resistance than bamboo composites showing potential as exterior panels in flood contexts. The research identified that the strength stiffness properties of cork-PLA-PHA versus bamboo-PLA-PHA composites are reversed compared to natural cork and bamboo, showing these were not affected equally by processing and size increase. This investigation demonstrated the significance of experimentally assessing from the plant cell interface to the integral scale products informed by quantitative and qualitative contextual factors. Integrative experimental protocols are crucial to determine FDM’s potential for carbon neutral construction composites.