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Theses - Architecture


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  • ItemEmbargo
    Politi, Georgia
    This thesis attempts to provide the first biography of the mid-Victorian architect Sir Horace Jones PRIBA (1819-1887) and comprises the most comprehensive account of his most important projects, including a complete inventory of his known works. It explores Jones’s early life, returning to primary sources, to describe his upbringing and architectural training. A detailed itinerary of his architectural travels, at the end of his training, is provided, drawn from a range of archival sources and contemporary descriptions, examining Jones’s route into the architectural profession. The thesis then explores Jones’s early career, reviewing his extensive portfolio of work as a private practitioner (1843-1864). By examining a combination of primary and archival material, it offers a detailed appraisal of his most important projects and their reception by his contemporaries. Jones’s early influences are investigated, through his involvement in contemporary architectural societies, highlighting the circumstances of his election as the Architect to the City of London Corporation, in 1864. The thesis offers the first in-depth account of the inner workings of the Architect’s Office at the Corporation, during Jones’s tenure (1864-1887) and how the role developed and increased in importance under him. It provides the first detailed overview of the duties, remuneration and staffing of this office. Jones’s work for the Corporation is then examined, with special focus on his Metropolitan Markets (1866-1887). Making use of a comprehensive range of previously unexplored archival drawings and contemporary publications, as well as by examination of the surviving buildings, the thesis reveals their special architectural and constructional composition, highlighting the markets as a highly experimental and original work. Jones’s lesser-known projects for the Corporation are investigated next, by reviewing previously unexplored archival material, most notably for the Guildhall Library and Museum (1870-73) and the New Council Chamber (1882-85). His involvement with the Freemasonry is discussed and particularly his work for the restoration of the Freemasons’ Hall. Jones’s personal life in this latter part of his career is investigated in detail for the first time. His personal correspondence and a rare photographic family album reveal previously unknown aspects about his personal and professional circumstances. Lastly, the thesis explores Jones’s most recognisable project, Tower Bridge, as well as his little-known schemes for other bridges across the Thames. Going further than any previous account, the research interrogates Jones’s particular contribution to the development of its design and the factors that contributed to its perception as one of the most controversial projects of its time. Jones’s reputation is reviewed in the context of the reception of Tower Bridge. His overall work is appraised against the background of the criticism it received, and also of architectural discussions around the use of iron in architecture. As the first work to attempt an exploration of Horace Jones’s life and career, this dissertation aims to provide an entirely new and comprehensive reassessment of one of the most prolific and influential, but surprisingly overlooked architects of the Victorian period.
  • ItemEmbargo
    The Social Lives of Vacant Homes: Tracing Registers of Value in Contemporary Cairo
    Abdou, Ibrahim
    This thesis examines landscapes of housing vacancy in contemporary Cairo to reveal the plural regimes of value underlying city-making. Set against a dominant tradition of viewing vacant cityscapes as being commodified by capitalist reforms, the study offers original insight by tracing the social lives of vacant homes and the trajectories of their residents, owners, and builders. In particular, it focuses on how cultural, social, and political logics of treasuring and managing homes override, distort, or disrupt the assumed market logic. In 2017, national statistics indicated almost a third of Cairo’s total housing units were empty. In academic and public discourse, observers express concern over what is perceived as a stock of dead, dormant spaces littering the urban landscape. Market critics typically lament the millions of uninhabited apartments and half-finished buildings as a symptom of neoliberal policies financialising housing, inciting a culture of treating homes as assets. Policymakers and economists advocating for market growth, by contrast, blame vacancy on regulatory obstacles – especially rent control and insufficient finance – restraining the free market’s smooth operation. Yet, in focusing on economic forces, both market-led policymaking and politico-economic critiques overlook plural registers of interacting with vacant homes only discernable at a much closer scale of social and architectural investigation. Addressing this gap and drawing on 15 months of fieldwork involving interviews and architectural analysis, the thesis investigates five trajectories of homemaking in four neighbourhoods traversing social class and housing typology. Going beyond an economic lens, it overlays the socio-political entanglements, affective meanings, and cultural imaginations of vacant landscapes. Conceptually, it reframes them as battlegrounds where competing registers of value are fought out. Namely, in Cairo, they are sites where financial priorities are actively negotiated against pursuits of social habitation, urban livelihood, legal stability, and collective self-sufficiency. Methodologically, it develops building vignettes as an experimental space to push the bounds of generative overlaps between spatial and ethnographic techniques of analysis. As such, the study demonstrates the vantage point of interpretive architectural research in advancing cross-disciplinary debates across critical urban studies on housing and its vacancy, geographic works on new ruins, and anthropology on value and emptiness. Each chapter articulates a distinct category of vacancy by following a pursuit of value and interrogating the spatial, legal, and temporal interfaces of its contestation with market forces. Individually, these cases reveal how vacant homes – both at a material and perceptual level – are hardly ever empty and rarely experienced and perceived by urban residents as static or neutral. Across society, Egyptians treat yet-to-be-occupied dwellings as sacred cultural objects where multi-generational familial obligations are performed. Conversely, communities, contractors, or coops facing oppressive socio-political conflicts view their homes as risky, disruptive, or inaccessible spaces that they hope to construct and occupy but cannot do so easily. When scrutinised up close, vacant geographies suggest not the triumph of commodification or the dearth of social life but rather make legible how the entire city is consistently entangled in the flux of competing value systems.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploratory Analysis of the Inhabitants' Experience of the Singaporean Smart Nation: Construction, Boundaries, and Connection
    Sobey, Aisha; Sobey, Aisha [0000-0003-2547-5662]
    The Singaporean *Smart* Nation [SN] promises to increase quality of life and foster community and connection for inhabitants. However, despite repeated calls for human-focused contextualised smart research, this promise has yet to see much attention or verification in Singapore or other smart settings. In response, this thesis interrogates the inhabitant experience of the SN in conjunction with the assemblage of government policy narratives to explore the construction of the SN and its impact on inhabitants. To do so, it examines a selection of government documents pertaining to their vision for the SN, an online survey of Singaporean residents (n=255), and informant interviews with government workers (n=7) and inhabitants (n=9). The government documents and employee interviews represent the top-down perspective and give insight into the government priorities and instrumental application of the SN. The survey data and inhabitant interviews provide evidence of the everyday lived experience of inhabitants. The comparison between policy aims and inhabitant perception shows how the discursive assemblage could be shaping how inhabitants live their lives and, ultimately, their ability to connect to one another and to place. The thesis establishes three premises by considering the novel case data from different perspectives. Firstly, the assemblage of narratives and discourse to form the SN rhetoric is positioned within the historical political context of its development, showing the path-dependent nature of technological innovation in Singapore, and providing a socio-technical snapshot of the lived experience of the SN narratives. Secondly, the identified narrative assemblage is interrogated through the lens of obliged freedom, which not only situates the SN discursive assemblage as a governance technology but also reveals the boundaries created by this dynamic on the capability of inhabitants to undertake their lives. Finally, the boundaries produced through the *smart* discourse assemblage are explored in relation to quality of life, specifically, the need for connection, to offer an answer to the impact of the SN on inhabitants' ability to connect. This assessment shows the value in considering the implications of socio-technical systems through a capabilities approach, as it highlights the potential misalignment of the SN goals with the inhabitants' quality of life. The context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant 2020 lockdown measures fast-tracked urban dependence on digital infrastructure and uptake of technology across the world. In Singapore, one possible urban future is becoming a reality under the smart banner, necessitating this timely analysis of life in the SN.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Attacking cities: terrorism in Paris, London, and Manchester (2015-2020)
    Batley, Amy; Batley, Amy [0000-0002-5271-2769]
    Since 2015, terrorism in Western European cities has become increasingly frequent and lethal, in attacks which deliberately target the sites and spaces which define key characteristics of each city. Scholarly attention has focused on terrorist psychology and geopolitical factors regarding terrorist networks, yet the urban nature and implications of terrorism have received limited consideration, particularly regarding how terrorism and counterterrorism shape the materiality of urban spaces and intersect with urban life. To address these matters, this thesis examines the long-term effects of terrorism on cities, and the prospects for urban life in the face of recurrent terrorism. This is studied in the unique context of Western Europe, as Europe’s colonial histories and demographically diverse yet dense urban areas complicate the recent experience of Islamist and right-wing terrorism. Studying the period of terrorism which began in 2015 and ended abruptly in 2020 with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the thesis focuses specifically on Paris, London, and Manchester. These are relatively peaceful cities, characterised by diverse racial and religious communities and have strong local governance. However, they present distinct challenges in the terrorism context due to their urban form, national contexts, and unique socio-political histories. The thesis begins with a contextual introduction, situating this research within architectural, geographical, and (geo)political scholarship. The second chapter addresses the specificities of European terrorism, while the third uses a historical and topographical analysis to highlight integral features of urban life in Paris, London, and Manchester. The fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters are structured around three interconnected responses to terrorism in urban spaces: securitisation, memorialisation, and community. Using data gathered through a mixed methodological approach, including site observation, architectural analysis, archival research, and field-based interviews, the thesis develops micro-level examples from across the three cities to uncover some of the less discernible risks and opportunities for urban life which arise from terrorism. By critically analysing thematic responses to terrorism, the thesis contributes to the understanding of how cities can enhance their capacity to respond to future urban terrorism.
  • ItemEmbargo
    “Renovating” Moscow’s Soviet-era Standardised Housing: The Creation and Destruction of Anachronistic Space
    Mizrokhi, Ekaterina
    In 2017, the Moscow municipality announced the demolition of several thousand Soviet-era, standardised flats (*khrushchevki*). Known as the Renovation, the project promised to replace the *khrushchevki* with new residential districts. The municipality justifies the Renovation by claiming that the *khrushchevki* are decrepit and anachronistic, and that residents are near-unanimous in their support for the demolition. In this dissertation, I theorise the notion of ‘anachronistic space’ and argue that the guiding narrative of the Renovation not only overlooks—but actively suppresses—a variety of local interests that seek to improve, rather than destroy, their long-standing homes. The dissertation develops new empirical and analytical insights into how residents’ relationships to their *khrushchevki* have been evolving as they await the Renovation. Analysis of these changes proceeds on several scales: from the domestic and the streetscape, to the district and wider urban region. I develop these insights through interviews with stakeholders, Russian-language media analyses, and extended ethnographic research among local residents in a soon-to-be-demolished *khrushchevka* neighbourhood in Moscow's Northern Izmailovo district in 2019. My research has uncovered the highly-localised experiences of urban change that are idiosyncratic to the case study site. Given a scholarly tendency to study standardised space as a monolith, the methodological and conceptual implications of my findings are therefore significant. I argue that theoretical approaches that generalise insights across socialist-era mass housing estates on account of their architectural “uniformity” jeopardise the accuracy of ethnographic research conducted in such spaces. In turn, this dissertation demonstrates why the local histories of mass housing districts must unequivocally be written in distinct, rather than standardised, terms.
  • ItemControlled Access
    Urban Landscape Design for Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity of Young Seniors: A Study of Shopping-Mall-Plazas in Central Beijing
    Li, Dan; Li, Dan [0009-0005-6867-193X]
    It is reported that moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) is associated with more successful ageing, that is, retaining good cognitive and motor functions and avoiding mental health problems. In the everyday life of senior Chinese people, MVPA is characterised by a variety of informal outdoor activities, including square dancing, shuttlecock kicking, and badminton, football, among others. Some urban leftover spaces, such as spaces between buildings, at the dead ends of streets, and plazas, in front of shopping malls are not designed as activity spaces; they are edges and residual spaces left over after planning. Although shopping mall plazas are ‘designed’ interstitial spaces with regard to their physical characteristics (for example between road and building), from the users’ perspective they can be considered as leftover spaces that can be occupied to a greater or lesser extent. Thus, from a usage point of view, shopping mall plazas can be considered as a subset of leftover spaces. Such leftover spaces can play an important role in facilitating informal sports activities, particularly in densely populated cities like Beijing Core Area where outdoor space is limited. However, studies on how urban leftover spaces can be designed to better support MVPA are lacking. This work begins by identifying generic parameters that are essential to outdoor space use and urban well-being, including: * the availability and accessibility of appropriate spaces, park area, sub-areas, type of play courts, a flat area to accommodate different activities, paths/routes, density, distance, space size per capita, the choice of transport, proximity from home; * amenities, facilities, and aesthetics
    amenities necessary for seniors’ MVPA (fitness equipment disabled access ramps, senior accessibility facilities (e.g., slip-resistant facilities), seating, well-maintained features that can facilitate stretching, good lighting, toilets), amenities that make the space more vibrant (cafes and shops, restaurants), and aesthetically pleasing (green space area, natural area, habitat diversity in natural and green areas, the presence of water, layout, landscaping, visual appeal, plants with contrasting colours and pleasing fragrances etc.; * microclimate, quality, and privacy
    microclimate, shaded area in summer, quality of roads/cycleways, presence of walking and skiing trails, etc., minimize street noises, buffer planting to create a sense of enclosure around the quieter sub-area; and * safety, maintenance, and management policies
    safety from crime, safety from traffic, lighting, regular maintenance, the condition of play equipment, visual cues of incivilities, recreational programmes (sports, concerts, races), park design policies, park management practices, and budget procedures. This study examined the senior citizens’ Shopping-Mall-Plaza-Based Moderate-to-Vigorous Physical Activity (henceforth abbreviated as SMPB MVPA) as an illustration of the potential for urban leftover spaces to facilitate health promotion effects. It investigated the diurnal activity patterns of seniors in six plazas of Beijing through photography and video observation and qualitative surveys. Quantitative observation data are encoded in GIS and analysed descriptively and via regression models. For qualitative data, thematic analyses were performed. As a result, three categories of key findings were discovered. (1) Landscape features that facilitate three types of MVPA are identified: * Group MVPA: This requires sufficient area (on average, 5.63 m2 per person for square dancing, 6.63 m2 per person for group Tai Chi, 2.18 m2 per person for group callisthenics, 1.78 m2 per person for group shuttlecock kicking), with group sizes that ranged from 2–109 people (average 27). Spaces also should be segregated from large people flows and close to grass and vegetation (improved further with opportunities to access the grass); they should have adequate lighting, flat ground and electrical outlets for loudspeakers; and the landscape design should include features that inhibit the transmission of sound produced in the space to nearby residents. * Pairs ball games: This typically requires a larger area (approximately 24.0 m2 per pair of badminton players, about 30 m2 per pair of soccer players) that is wind proof and has at least two vertical barriers on opposing sides, to prevent the ball from being kicked or hit too far away. * Individual MVPA: A relatively small area can be exploited (about 3.40 m2 for diabolo, 2.50 m2 for individual square dancing, and 2.50 m2 for individual Tai Chi), with bright illumination for evening activities, fitness equipment or substitutes like handrails about 0.4–1 m in height and horizontal tree branches about 2 m high for chin-up calisthenics. Participants preferred spaces close to lawns and vegetation (with opportunities to access the grass). (2) Some objective landscape characteristics of shopping mall plazas are associated with a greater number of MVPA participants. Quantitative research revealed that size (m2) of hard surfaces, lawns, parking lots and disabled access ramps, as well as the number of dustbins, were objectively significant indicators of the number of senior citizens engaging in SMPB MVPA. (3) Chinese seniors have specific ideas about how shopping mall plazas can be improved facilitate their MVPA more effectively. Respondents most frequently acknowledged six facilitators: safety, maintenance, accessibility, enclosure by plants, flatness of the ground, and activity space. The open-ended question about other facilitators and barriers yielded nine themes of facilitators: accessibility, microclimate, size, design factors, amenities for seniors’ MVPA, social factors, maintenance, safety, and other factors; and four themes of barriers: size, safety, MVPA-facilitating amenities and social factors. Findings from this study provide planners, designers, and urban policymakers with recommendations that will enable the establishment of shopping mall plazas that are more attractive for senior citizen MVPA, including: * Sufficient hard surface area (about 2.80 to 922.94 m2, including sufficient area for different kinds of activities, temporal vehicle area and segregated activity areas for different activities, segregation with large people flow) at shopping mall plazas; * Decent lawn area (an average of 19 per cent of total plaza area – ranging from 0 to 25 per cent); * Attention to microclimate (opportunity for sunbathing, warmth in winter and coolness in summer, and year-round wind-proofing); and * Amenities (amenities necessary for seniors’ MVPA such as disabled access ramps, seating, toilets, adequate lighting, electrical outlets for their loudspeakers, and music lowering design to avoid disturbing the nearby residents; amenities making the place more vibrant such as shops, dustbins; flat ground). It is possible to encourage more seniors to engage in MVPA by equipping shopping mall plazas with the aforementioned characteristics at greater levels. Given that shopping mall plazas are important supplements to other types of green and open space for PA, design interventions at shopping mall plazas are likely to enhance the opportunities for health and well-being of older people, especially in high-density urban settings. Design professionals and policymakers are encouraged to take into account the above suggestions and work together to make shopping mall plazas and other outdoor activity spaces more useful for older people in dense urban areas. Adopting the insights gained from this research would give the senior more opportunities to enhance their physical health and mental well-being.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Sustainable Energy Transitions in Conflict Contexts: The Role of Local Governance in Palestine
    Khaldi, Yasser; Khaldi, Yasser [0000-0002-5933-2689]
    Various countries in the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region have pledged to achieve 15–50% of their electricity supply from renewable sources by 2030. Most MENA countries focus on technological innovation and socio-technical feasibility in their energy transitions. Institutional co- evolution that goes with technological innovation and socio-institutional feasibility have received less attention. MENA countries like Palestine have adopted a central governance approach, which has been criticised by scholars (Cherp et al., 2018; Lee and Byrne, 2019) for its inability to deal with complex and longer-term societal changes and the de-centralised nature of renewable technologies. Dependence on central authorities’ top-down driven processes have led to overlooking of the potential of local government units (LGUs) and their local knowledge. This PhD research adopts a mixed method approach, incorporating surveys, interviews and expert and roundtable discussions with Palestinian policy makers and energy experts, to examine practices of energy governance of local authorities in Palestine. The research analyses LGU modes of governance and their impact on energy justice, public finance and risk management to achieve sustainable energy transition. Palestine is situated in conflict context where it lacks control over its territories and infrastructure but where renewable energy transition could bring direct benefits not only in terms of environmental sustainability but also self-sufficiency. First, the research applies the transition management and multi-level perspective framework (Geels, 2002; Loorbach, 2007) to investigate who are governing current energy sector and renewable energy transition in Palestine. The analysis suggests that governance networks are currently leading the efforts whereas LGUs are not systemically engaged in policy making due to central governance approach, despite LGUs contributions so far such as having implemented 50% of the total renewable energy installations. Second, based on empirical data collected in surveys and interviews, the research describes LGUs modes of governance and categorises them as “Municipality as Planner'', “Municipality as Producer” and “Municipality as Facilitator” and analyses how they share the theme of “enabling”, whether by setting up "action space", building networks for stakeholder engagement, or partnering with investors to generate sustainable energy. Third, the research explores reasons behind the marginalisation of local governance in current energy policy, which results in a situation where injustice is produced through top-down approach, institutional lock-ins, external conflict forces, and preference for larger-scale systems and centralised energy production. The technical and fiscal analysis suggests that “Municipality as Producer” mode of governance has potential to increase solar power capacity in Palestine and to reduce energy injustice. The research proposes mechanisms to include LGUs in decision-making, and to benefit from their local knowledge and access to vital resources, such as land that is at the heart of the conflict. Fourth, the thesis investigates the impact of locally developed renewable energy projects with LGUs as an energy producer, based on two important parameters used by the government: public finances and encountering risks. The thesis implies the need for devolution and decentralisation in the energy policy to strengthen the role of multi-level actors and LGUs, in order to facilitate and produce renewable energy in the ongoing energy transition in Palestine.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Digital timber for affordable housing: An exploration into flexible spaces
    Gatoo Jimenez de Laiglesia, Ana
    Engineered timber is the most ecological of the major construction materials acting as a carbon sink in our urban centres. After the pandemic, flexibility of interior spaces has become crucial with social, economic, and environmental benefits. With mass customization, the growth of digital factories for timber products and the possibilities of open-source designs, interior walls can come alive as customisable, sustainable, and creative. This thesis shows how design trends and needs are moving towards affordability, sustainability, and flexibility, envisioning a future where housing is designed as an unfinished product where residents can develop the spaces they inhabit, and these can be altered throughout a lifetime. The research proposes the apartment as an empty space with fixed services based on the open building. Two flexibilities are explored: long-term flexibility, where an apartment changes throughout a lifetime, and short-term flexibility, where an apartment can change daily. By bringing together the design of open buildings, engineered timber with digital tools, flexibility, and participatory design for council housing in London at an affordable rent. This interdisciplinary research develops a new system of flexible partitions that are sustainable and affordable and provide residents with the freedom to decide on the design of their interior spaces. This thesis undertakes several spatial explorations based on the London Plan for long-term flexibility. The modular structure is based on systems and components, or “kits of parts”, of glulam posts, beams, and cross-laminated timber (CLT). For short-term flexibility, extensive testing was undertaken to study the flexibility of timber through kerf patterns. Flexible walls with engineered timber manufactured with digital tools have been developed. These walls are a modular kit of parts, designed to be disassembled, easy to fabricate, affordable and can be placed anywhere within an apartment. This thesis shows that digitally fabricated timber has the potential to create customisable and flexible interior spaces for affordable housing in London.
  • ItemEmbargo
    An investigation of heterogeneous commuting mode choices through an Early Stopping Bayesian Data Assimilation approach
    Xie, Shanshan
    Flexible working patterns are developing fast since the Covid-19 pandemic. However, preceding the pandemic, a growing diversity of commuting behaviours existed among the population. Some of these behaviours may have served as trendsetters of commuting patterns that align with the emerging flexible working patterns, albeit not completely identical to those observed today. The challenge for travel behaviour modellers is that in the existing travel surveys, such heterogeneity is hard to estimate due to their low presence in the data samples. This dissertation develops an Early Stopping Bayesian Data Assimilation (ESBDA) estimator which enables an established behaviour model to be well adapted to a new context characterised by significantly lower data samples. We carry out the development using the Mixed-Logit as the main behaviour model, which is a remarkably versatile tool in revealing insights into inter and intra-individual behavioural heterogeneity. ESBDA makes it possible for existing models to learn from small samples of travellers who show distinct travel choices, establishing predictive models while existing methods require more data. The prevalent Mixed-Logit estimators—Maximum Simulated Likelihood (MSL), Hierarchical Bayes (HB), and Variational Bayes (VB)—demonstrate susceptibility to overfitting and underfitting in small datasets. ESBDA integrates Bayesian inference and Machine Learning techniques to address these issues. Our method is evaluated against MSL, HB, VB, and Bayesian Data Assimilation (BDA) without early-stopping in 15 experiments involving two Mixed-Logit models and varying sample sizes. MSL, HB and VB are found problematic in six experiments each. BDA malfunctions in five. ESBDA stumbles in just one, showcasing its efficacy with smaller samples. Overall, ESBDA consistently outperforms existing methods in estimate quality, convergence speed, out-of-sample predictability, and behavioural insights. Particularly, its advantages are magnified with diminishing sample sizes. ESBDA is thus proven to be a more practical, economical and relatively time-saving tool for analysing travel behaviour where there are low samples of distinct, heterogeneous travel behaviour. ESBDA is then applied to commuter samples from the London Travel Demand Survey to examine the effects of five commuter attributes that are cogent to the evolution of flexible working patterns: (1) workplace type (fixed/variable), (2) National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC), (3) timing of the commute, (4) Origin-Destination (OD) and (5) age of the commuters. These are some of the key dimensions that the data can yield in identifying the extent of flexible working. A systematic, tree-like model transfer framework is established to help establish behavioural models for 6 levels of increasingly narrow segmentation of commuter sub-groups. The findings from the ESBDA model have uncovered insights that existing travel choice estimations have not been able to reveal. Even a rather coarse segmentation of the commuters has identified starkly different travel preferences, such as distinctly different levels of willingness to pay for time savings between those who commute to fixed or variable workplaces, given the same NS-SeC, timing of the trip, OD of the commute and age of commuters. This suggests that significant impacts may yet be in store for the provision of transport infrastructure and services if / when flexible working scales up. ESBDA has also opened up a new way to study small samples of distinctly heterogeneous travel behaviour in large metropolitan scale surveys – and as the emerging behaviours grow, this approach can be used to investigate new sub-variants which are yet to emerge.
  • 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.
  • ItemOpen Access
    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.
  • ItemOpen Access
    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.