Theses - Architecture
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- ItemEmbargoThe 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 AccessActive Urbanism: Improving population health based on physiological and socio-psychological experimentsBoldina, AnnaInactivity 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.
- ItemEmbargoA Cinematic Approach to the Practice of Everyday Life: The Case of the Beijing HutongSun, YiqiaoTo 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.
- ItemEmbargoComputer-aided space planning for residential layouts: case-based learning and designer-computer interactionXiao, 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.
- ItemEmbargoA Deep Learning Framework for Investigating Spatio-temporal Evolution of Land Use and Land Cover PatternsZhu, 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.
- ItemEmbargoA study of street network configurations using deep learningFang, ZhouThis 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.
- ItemEmbargoUrban densification, social capital, and domestic energy demand: Neighbourhood restructuring in Jinan City, ChinaLi, 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 AccessThermal Comfort and Spatial Variability: A Study of Traditional Courtyard Houses in the Hot Dry Climate of Khartoum, Sudan(2001-09-21) Merghani, AbubakrThis 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 AccessArriving through Infrastructures: Berlin's institutional shelters for refugees 2015-2019Parsloe, TobyDuring 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 AccessPerformance Architecture: A Performative Architectural PracticeSchweder, AlexanderPerformance 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 AccessWalking in Landscapes of Displacement: The Spatiality of Transcultural ActivismHuss, MichalThough 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 AccessBuilding Urban Palestine: Jaffa and Nablus 1870-1930Abusaada, 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 AccessAdditive Manufacturing of lignocellulosic composites for riverine resilienceGutierrez, 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.
- ItemOpen AccessVertical greening in urban built environmentsGunawardena, KanchaneTo meet the challenge of implementing green infrastructure enhancements to address climate risks in densely built cities, attention has been directed in recent times towards encouraging surface greening approaches. The thesis presented here acknowledged this trend and examined how the typology described as ‘vertical greening’ contributes to this climate resilience enhancement of urban built environments. The project engaged with case study-based quantitative measurements and simulation methods to answer research questions concerned with the microclimate modification and resultant energy use influence presented by installations, in building-scale sheltered environments (e.g., an indoor atrium and a semi-outdoor court), and outdoor neighbourhood-scale canyon environments. It also engaged with qualitative interview and observational methods to address concerns related to the maintenance and sustainability of wider application of installations. The key monitoring findings from temperate climate sheltered applications highlighted hygrothermal and airflow modifications to be most apparent within the 1-2 m proximate zone, with other phenomena typically introducing airflow mixing to disrupt influence distribution. The potencies of these were relatively modest, and less than those presented in the literature for outdoor installations (maximum mean air temperature reduction of 0.3 K and relative humidity increase of 5.5% at the indoor atrium study, in contrast to 0.9 K air temperature reduction and 13.7% relative humidity increase at the semi-outdoor court study). The modifications nevertheless presented thermal sensation and diversity opportunity to occupants as a significant benefit. The building-scale simulation findings of the same temperate climate case studies highlighted these influences to contribute to thermally moderated microclimates. For the semi-outdoor court this translated to surface flux reductions, with living wall application offering the most (84-90%), followed by green façade application (37-44%). Such reductions could translate to energy use savings if the occupied environments implement mechanical cooling. This was exemplified by the indoor study simulations, where a net annual energy consumption saving for the atrium zone was estimated (69% with living wall and 71% with green façade application). The neighbourhood-scale simulation results also demonstrated widespread outdoor application to have improved the thermal climate of street canyons to benefit pedestrians (summer daytime cool island occurrences increased by 39% for central urban and 3.4% for suburban canyons), as well as present annual net energy use savings to the canyon buildings (between 0.8 and 5.2%). These benefits were pronounced most for the central urban than suburban context, while living walls presented greater influence than traditional green façades in both urban backgrounds. The synthesis of both observational and simulation findings broadly supports the wider applicability of such installations in densely built temperate climate cities; with the thesis discussing concerns and making recommendations for installation designers. Furthermore, the project presents two novel model coupling pathways for assessing building and neighbourhood-scale vertical greening influence, which would enable urban planners, architects, and installation designers to expediently utilise this typology of green infrastructure to enhance urban built environments and benefit the health, comfort, and wellbeing of their ever-growing occupant populations.
- ItemEmbargoScreen: The Intersectional Element of ArchitectureRoimpas, StefanosThis dissertation provides an architectural examination of the filmic screen as a newly inscribed and ontologically unique element in the discipline’s repertoire—whose emergence was originally predicted by Virilio in 1983 in his plea for a new Alberti or Brunelleschi to deal with its implications but never studied any further. The aim is to determine the screen’s conditions of possibility and discern its key properties in this encounter of surface and space. In other words, I ask not what a screen means but how it can mean anything of architectural significance. Founded upon architecture’s representational discourse, Lacan’s work on the symbolic and a series of design experiments the dissertation examines the screen’s mode of appearance. Namely, perspective projection, where it traces a series of fundamental notions relating to its logic that the screen now spatially demonstrates and utilises as logic for producing (the image of) space. It begins by positing perspective as being a logical mapping of space instead of a matter of sight. Secondly, it discusses the limitation of pictorial illusion and the productive negativity in the suspension of architecture’s signified equivalent to language’s production of undecidable propositions. Then it proceeds to examine the very nature of architecture’s view and relation to the topological notion of outside between immediacy and mediation—between a framed and recorded view—before providing an extensive analysis on the difference between the point of view and the vanishing point. Last but not least, the dissertation explains how the screen exemplifies architecture’s self-reflexive capacity where material and immaterial components are part of the spatial conception to which they refer and produce. The screen is able to unify the architectural object with its process which usually precedes it and in some extreme cases proposes architecture’s process as object. This exploration on the screen exposes and questions some of the most salient features of the spatial conception to which it is now constituent.
- ItemEmbargoThe Project of the City in Nineteenth-Century Lebanon: Missionary Competition and Collective Colonialism in Beirut, 1820–1914(2022-02-26) El Chami, Yasmina Carole; El Chami, Yasmina [0000-0002-0055-3639]This dissertation examines the competing trajectories of Jesuit and American Protestant missionaries in nineteenth-century Lebanon, leading to the foundation of the two oldest and largest universities in contemporary Beirut, AUB and USJ. Situating these projects within a history of imperial contestation in the Levant, the dissertation questions the relationship between the missionaries’ educational aims and political ambitions, as revealed by their architectural and urban implementation in the territory, and later, the city. I argue that missionary competition engendered a collective colonialism that embedded a divisive logic in Beirut’s urban foundations. The dissertation charts chronological and ideological shifts in this collective project, unfolding across three scales: the territory, the city, and architecture. It traces the transformation of missionary activities from a territorial project of religious conversion beginning in Mount Lebanon in the first half of the century, to a colonial project of education and urban confrontation in Beirut after 1860. Here, the city itself became the project at stake, as missionary competition reinvented itself as a mission to claim space. As each mission grew more entangled with imperial ambitions, architecture acquired crucial agency as a tool with which to attract, assert, and expand influence over the city. Through a combination of site-analysis and archival research, the dissertation uncovers the overlapping networks of imperial, industrial, philanthropic, and local patronage or opposition underpinning the missionaries’ architectural projects. I conclude that, although oppositional in nature, both missions had deployed comparable spatial strategies in their pursuit of influence, materialising adversarial cultural and political visions for the city. Their architecture operated as a total project of economic, material, social, cultural, aesthetic, and urban control. By recovering the urban role of these private, yet foreign actors in a city under Ottoman rule, the dissertation thus reconsiders both the limits of architecture’s political agency and the nature of colonialism in nineteenth-century Lebanon.
- ItemEmbargoHousing for Welfare in India: Insights on the world’s largest ‘assisted self-help’ low-cost rural and peri-urban scheme from ground implementers in riparian OdishaAcharya, PrachiHousing subsidies are a key strategy used by governments to bridge their low-income housing gap. Several low- and middle-income countries subsidise rural welfare housing – at times through direct cash transfer to recipients – conditional on achieving specific construction milestones through ‘self-help’. This is based on the presumption that recipients maximise benefits by choosing how to utilise the subsidy for house construction depending on their needs. Yet current approaches to ‘self-help’ rural welfare housing, with its technical focus on house-type specifications and quantitative focus on measuring success, fail to evaluate processes through which these subsidy schemes are implemented on-the-ground. Hence, this thesis examines implementation strategies from the perspective of three crucial ground-level actors–subsidy recipients (past, current and prospective), masons and field-staff–in the world’s largest self-help rural welfare housing scheme–India’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Grameen, which targets building 30 million houses between 2016-2022 for people living under extreme poverty. Despite its commendable objectives and having delivered nearly 36 million houses (1996-2015), the scheme has reported persistent problems since inception (1996) in implementation and compliance with its spatial, temporal and disaster resilience requirements. To address these problems, whilst number of reforms have been introduced, the ‘self-help’ requirement–widely recognised as key for effective and efficient delivery–has persisted. Yet its actual ground-level practice and implications has remained underexplored and poorly understood in rural welfare housing scholarship. Using mixed methods through a constructivist grounded approach, this research examines the relationships between the Scheme’s requirements, its actual practice and its implications on recipients’ welfare in peri-urban and rural riparian settlements in Cuttack District in the coastal State of Odisha. Drawing on nearly a year of fieldwork, this study qualitatively analysed 77 semi-structured interviews with the three ground-level implementers, participatory card games with recipients, observations of construction methods with masons and field-staff, and detailed architectural documentation of house-types. Further, it quantified qualitative data and quantitatively analysed official secondary data sets for triangulation. The empirical findings reveal important aspects of the nature and welfare implications of trade-offs that ground-level implementers undertake for achieving compliance with the scheme requirements. Ground-level implementers were (a) overstretched in fulfilling on-the-ground highly gendered responsibilities within a context of information, time and resource scarcity; (b) caught in debt cycles partly due to untimely instalment releases, underestimated official construction costs, overestimated labour inputs and costs for ensuring smooth construction process; and (c) required to build amid severe space, material and construction tools constraints, leading to compensatory and non-standard construction practices, which influenced structural integrity and ultimately recipients’ aspiration and the Scheme’s objective of intergenerational resilience. These findings provide important directions for future interdisciplinary empirical research on social networks and trust, monitoring and change-agents, and financing and instalment structure, with implications for policy for promoting a culture of safety in Scheme house construction.
- ItemOpen AccessContextualising energy justice in low-income built environment: Towards data-driven policy interventions for addressing distributive injustices in slum rehabilitation housing of the Global SouthDebnath, Ramit; Debnath, Ramit [0000-0003-0727-5683]Around a billion people live in slums today globally, and rehabilitating them to formal housing is a significant challenge. Slum rehabilitation housing is a policy effort to solve this crisis and alleviate urban poverty. However, the question of whether slum rehabilitation programmes are accomplishing more good than harm or whether they are creating a whole host of new problems remains unexplored in the literature. This thesis investigates the effect of slum rehabilitation on household energy demand in Brazil, India and Nigeria through the lens of distributive energy justice. Furthermore, this thesis makes methodological innovation to aid in just policy design by improving the objectivity of including local and contextual knowledge on how poor households live and use energy. Doing so makes novel theoretical and methodological contributions: a theoretical contribution to temporality and spatial energy justice studies on how to offer cross-sectional depictions of energy demand within the slum rehabilitation housing, which was evaluated through structural equation modelling, and a methodological contribution in developing a deep-narrative analysis framework using natural language processing and machine learning-based Latent Dirichlet Allocation algorithm to capture the grounded narratives of distributive injustices objectively. This research highlighted the significance of contextualisation in planning for energy justice in slum communities and the role of digital tools like natural language processing in objectively integrating grounded narratives in just policy design. The contextualisation was done through zoom-in and zoom-out of the grounded narratives enabled through the multi-method approach. Zooming-out view of distributed injustices in the study areas of Mumbai (India), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Abuja (Nigeria) revealed inefficiencies in the administration of electricity distribution companies, lumped billing periods and lack of people-centric built environment design considerations. Similarly, zooming-in the case studies revealed that the poor design of the slum rehabilitation-built environment influenced the increase in energy intensity in the Mumbai case, leading to energy poverty. Whereas created distinct poverty traps in the Brazilian and Nigerian cases through frequent power cuts, high cost of appliance repair, and poor housing design. Finally, policy implications were drawn as per the policy actors across municipal, state and national levels that suggested leveraging digital tools like the deep-narrative analysis and the heavy penetration of Information and Communication Technology devices in such low-income communities. Such tools can improve accountability in decision-making and improve the representation of the occupants through their narratives of injustices associated with living in such communities. Thus, this thesis uniquely forwarded a data-driven pathway for integrating local collective intelligence in just policy design.
- ItemOpen AccessWashington, D.C. and the Idea of America: A reappraisal of the 1791 plan for the Nation’s Capital(2021-11-27) Schroder, IngridWashington, D.C. was the first American planned city of its size and one of the first attempts at a spatial organisation of the nation’s political objectives. This thesis argues that Pierre L’Enfant’s 1791 plan for the city is a unique example of eighteenth-century speculative development, that assimilated dominant European garden and urban planning traditions, reflected a critical transition in attitudes towards nature and landscape, and produced an unprecedented symbolic framework for the balance of republican values and federal objectives. I use a review of the development of the plan and an analysis of its distribution of space to locate the city within a wider context of continental expansion and the consolidation of national union. In the first part of this thesis I trace three aspects of this context: first, the plan’s relationship to contemporary patterns of land management, survey and territorial settlement; second, the eighteenth-century significance of nature within political thought and the manifestation of these ideas in the garden and landscape precedents available to the architect and his contemporaries; and third, the shift from representations of monarchy to celebrations of presidential authority, evident in L’Enfant’s work. In the second part I conduct a drawn dissection of the structure of the 1791 plan and provide a new interpretation of the primary orientation of the city, the distribution of ceremonial spaces, and the projected character of the commercial and residential urban fabric. Through a conceptual-historical reconstruction of the relationship between the plan for the capital, national expansion and American democracy, my project seeks to recover the significance of Washington, D.C. as a seminal reflection of the collision of a European urban and landscape tradition with the formation of an American political ideology.
- ItemEmbargoPost-Arab Spring Tunis: Materializing Revolution in the CityQaddumi, Dena; Qaddumi, Dena [0000-0003-1144-8460]During the Arab Spring, Arab cities and their iconic public spaces became beacons of revolutionary practices. This dissertation focuses on the aftermath of this event and investigates the urban consequences of the Arab Spring on Tunis. The multi-scaled study traces a regional phenomenon by associating the Arab city with the Arab Spring and, drawing from international cases, develops an approach for studying the revolutionary city. The methodology employed fieldwork in five distinct sites in Tunis, selected for their contribution to the revolutionary city in three key areas: national public spaces, regime landscapes, and the capital city. At the centre of Tunis, the Medina and Avenue Bourguiba are considered national public spaces, where the stakes of revolution are developed, expanded, and communicated through conflicts over identity and difference, heritage and legitimacy, and security and control. Then, Avenue Mohamed al-Khamis and Les Banlieues Nords are situated as regime landscapes, where symbolic, monumental architecture has been inherited by the new regime. Finally, Qsar Bardo and its locality is an exceptional site of the capital city, where national and local government overlap with official representations of the nation-state. Through a synthesis of these sites, the dissertation argues that the trajectory of Tunis is one of multiple disclosure as revolution continues through differentiated, incremental practices in sites of conflict across the city. These sites are endowed with possibilities for conflict predicated on the collective memories associated with each site; their perceived value as spaces of political and cultural legitimacy; their relation to the regime and the people; their place within the city’s topography; and their physical and urban qualities. As a city that to date has received little scholarly study, Tunis shows that revolution instigates these possibilities as the new regime and the people forge a common future in the city. These findings provide insights on the extent to which Tunis is becoming a paradigmatic case of an Arab revolutionary city.