Computational Design Research For High Density Social Housing in China

Yan Gao, Yunsheng Su .


Abstract - Computation has become a strong force to push the
boundary in architectural design. It is moving from the
experimental lab to the mainstream lobby. It has been celebrated
most for its power of processing a large number of data and
control complex form for final constructions, whereas it is also
criticized by many from the established generation due to its little
contribution to the architectural concepts considering social,
cultural, political and economic dimensions beyond architectural
autonomy in formation.
In my view, computation is a new kind of soil nourishes
architectural intentions and operations. Computation in
architectural design shouldn’t sacrifice the pursuit of a humanoriented
built environment. The technological applications
should be evaluated by objectives and motivations in multiple
dimensions including the social and cultural interests. The
intelligence and creativity owe to the people in front of the
computer, but not the computational programs, which in fact,
facilitate, empower, validate and extend designers’ visions,
instead of only pleasing our eyes. It shouldn’t replace designers’

sustainable transformation initiated by the residents during the
whole life span of the housing. The human factor (including
stakeholders, users, designers and builders) should be even more
important in architectural design while computation is

authorship to computers, but more displace designers’ role from
creators to more discoverers.

Based upon our computational research for high density social
housing in China (Fig. 1), this article presents the alternative
applications of computation which engage with the systematic
complexity in reality instead of the formal complexity in vision.
The computational housing research challenges the conventional
standard design for large scale social housing, and reflects our
exploration for innovative, multi-disciplinary, systematic and
synthetic design in the new paradigm of computation. It also
argues to shift the privilege of cutting edge design techniques
from the “High (end) Architecture” to the ordinary architecture.
Architectural design should have no discrimination between
Olympic stadiums and social housing, “as they both can be
innovative and meaningful through systematical, synthetic and
intelligent design” 1 .The design research outputs address


Mass customization; Indemnificatory housing in China; Synthetic computational design; Sustainable transformation; Abstract architecture; Genetic inheritance; Emerging evolution; Ecological simulation; Innovative design; Intelligent design; Interdisciplina

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