Mass customization in mass housing : how to design a high-rise apartment through mass customization?
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Citation:Wang, C. (2018). Mass Customization in Mass Housing : How to design a high-rise apartment through mass customization? Explanatory Document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional), Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4498
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS: "[This project] explored the method of customizing the size of spaces, and how to assemble those spaces in various ways (layout), because space is essential to architecture, if the sizes of spaces cannot be customized, then the variations will be very limited. There has been lots of research and development of houses in the fields of mass customization, prefabrication and assemblies, and modularized panel systems. However, they rarely studied the field of high-rise residence solutions and how to customize the size and layout of spaces. For the buyers, choosing the right size"--Page 16. ABSTRACT: Mass production is an important factor of modern industry, which provides adequate quality products, such as machinery, with affordable prices. In the 20th century, especially after World War II, modernist architects put their efforts into solving the housing shortage. Mass housing was practised and developed in many countries, using prefabricated panels and modules. However, most of those practices proceeded in low-rise residences such as houses. As per highrise residences, standard products still dominate the market. In the city centre where the high-rise residence is the major typology, there is a conflict between construction efficiency and personalised needs. Mass customization (MC) aims to offer personalized products massively, without losing the efficiency of mass production. As a business paradigm, mass customization has emerged in the past two decades, but, for the housing industry, it is still a new field. Some research has been done by scholars and architects, such as the book Mass Customisation and Personalisation in Architecture and Construction, but the research field has progressed slowly. There have been many precedents about the customization of houses since the 1920s, such as Baukasten, and Copper houses by Gropius. And, there were a few high-rise residences related to my research such as the “capsule tower” by Kurokawa. However, these precedents either have too few variations for users or did not involve users in the design process; in other words, the dwellings were not customized by users. Through a case study of online customized consumer products such as BMW cars, and a literature review of the principles of modularized products, this research has explored the possible ways of mass customization in high-rise apartments, and has developed some concepts such as MC Boundary and Free Space to support the final design project. At the same time, this research has explored solutions to technical problems caused by mass customization and finally placed the experimental building on a real site in the city centre to examine whether it could comply with urban planning regulations. With respect to limitations, this research does not contribute to the adaptability of the dwellings during their whole life span. Because replacing or rearranging parts of a dwelling is unaffordable for most individuals, so it would be much more possible and efficient to customize a dwelling before construction. Moreover, it does not include how to manufacture or deliver the modules and elements of MC housing.