2012

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    Integrated Social Habitats: Enhancing Social Spaces for Future Urban Multi-family Residential Dwellings
    ( 2012-05) Abinsay, Amber ; Clifford, Janine ; Architecture
    As I look back at my family’s lifestyle within a mid-rise apartment in Honolulu, I realize that the social relationships we have had with our neighbors over the last twenty years could have been stronger. Although it would be unrealistic to think that we would bond with every family in the six-story building complex, the only opportunity we had to engage in conversation with the families that were friendly and neighborly towards us was when we encountered each other in the parking lot elevator, or hallways leading to our apartment door. It was unlikely that one family would invite another into their apartment due to awkwardness and the potential loss of privacy. It is ironic that neighbors living in such close proximity would be so unsociable with one another. A simple solution that would have allowed our family to engage in social interaction with other families is the provision of a shared space dedicated to social activities that all residents could access. Although it is not guaranteed that every resident would utilize such a space, it would provide an opportunity for people to slowly establish and nurture relationships with others based on various factors such as personality characteristics and commonalities. It would be easy to suggest to an architect to designate a communal space on each floor in a residential dwelling. However, how successful can that space be if the residents on that floor barely use it because they are more focused on moving quickly from point A (car) to point B (apartment)? The so-called communal space would be dead, wasted space. How can architects design such a space so that it becomes a well-utilized, flourishing space for social interaction? This research paper maintains that these social spaces, rather than the apartment units, should become the focal points of the residential communities in mid-rise and high-rise buildings. The purpose of this research paper is to study the value of social interaction in our everyday lives and precedents that provide such social activities today. Correlational research and analysis is implemented to compare and contrast various types of social spaces in existing residential urban dwellings and the public realm. Design guidelines for the physical framework of future social spaces, specifically within urban residential low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise dwellings, are provided. The second half of this research paper applies these design guidelines on a mixed-use residential housing prototype in a unique setting within the urban context of Honolulu, Hawaii. Computer-aided, three-dimensional modeling and simulation are used to discover various spatial solutions that can possibly nurture social interaction within the residential setting. The ultimate goal of this research paper is to introduce new thought and design processes for future urban residential dwellings. The design guidelines presented in this body of research encourage a more socially interactive lifestyle for residents and the general public.
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    Urban Nature: Designing Apartment Unites with Nature Based on Biophilic Relationships
    ( 2012-05) Cheang, Michelle ; Williams, Homer ; Architecture
    The living environment surrounding humans has shifted from natural settings to man-made urban cities. This has inhibited a biophilic relationship between humans and nature that affects the physical and mental well-being of residents. The research documentation indicates positive psychological and physiological effects of nature's presence on human beings. The growing trend of interior landscaping demonstrates a need for greenery within the increasingly urban fabric. A comprehensive analysis of case studies creates composite ideals of how flora and fauna is integrated into contemporary urban environments. A set of design guideline matrices are used to compare the relationship between the way humans experience, attributes of nature, biophilic relationships, and the urban environment. The conceptual design proposal explores a way to conceive nature as a component that is integral to enhancing unit and building design. Currently, architecture does not consider nature as a vital factor in the design of living units. Attributes of nature must be considered concurrently during programming and conceptual design to achieve a synthesis between urban and natural environments indoors. This document provides guidelines to integrate nature into apartment units and contributes to potential future research on the integration of nature into multi-story residential buildings.
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    Garden Cities of the 21st Century
    ( 2012-05) Etherington, Bruce ; Noe, Joyce ; Architecture
    It has been more than 100 years since Ebenezer Howard published his epochal book on social reform that ultimately won him world recognition. Published first in 1898 as 'Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform', it was followed by revised publications in 1902, 1946 and 1965 under its present more evocative title, ‘Garden Cities of Tomorrow'. The multiplicity of editions testifies to a continued interest to secure a harmonious existence between humans and their natural environment. Influenced by the conventional wisdom of the time, deviations from the original 1898 publication by Howard of his town plan and his social and financial proposals affected the design and implementation of the prototype city of Letchworth built in 1903. Ignoring the drawings and writings of Howard’s book, the Letchworth model, because it was completed within the lifetime of Howard, was seen and accepted as the de facto model from which future garden cities could be reproduced. Duplication of the Letchworth prototype in Europe and North America, as a result of the deviations, led to incomplete, inaccurate or dysfunctional replications. The Letchworth concept of garden cities must be considered to have failed to reach the goal Howard had hoped to achieve: a distribution of sustainable, benign urban environments with an equitable and wholesome quality of life in a rural setting. More than a full century has elapsed since Howard wrote his book and the world has entered a new millennium. New technologies, changing demographics and, most importantly, emerging social and environmental circumstances raise the possibility that the concept of garden cities could be revisited to determine that, if adapted to meet the constraints and needs of the 21st century, could reach the goals envisaged by Howard. To reach this goal would require a return to the writings and drawings of his original work, 'Tomorrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform', and a departure, independent of previous attempts to interpret the content of Howard’s dream for all societies.
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    Waters of The Past & Present - The Revival of Water's Forgotten Stories, The Relationship of Water to Architectural Development For The Chiva Warin Center (River Life Center) By the Mae Ping River, Chiang Mai, Thailand
    ( 2012-05) Goh, Sunlin ; Yeh, Raymond ; Architecture
    This Doctorate Project studies waterfront cities and proposes a new waterfront development in Chiang Mai, Thailand around an ancient river that is not used to its full potential. The Doctorate Project is divided into two components, one is the research component where precedent case cities are selected for their waterfront locations and the symbolism of water in Thai culture, and two the second component is the design project which is a New Chiang Mai Urban Waterfront Center master plan (The Chiva Warin Center By the Mae Ping River) to revive the urban linkage between a historical site which has been divided from lack of use and accessibility, growing disconnected from each other. The site location is on both sides of the Mae Ping River consisting of marketplace and institutional buildings on one side of the riverbank and an entertainment edge, heritage shop houses and residences on the other side. Objectives of Design Project: - Preserve culture and still show authenticity of heritage in context to time and site. Through analysis identify which areas of the site must be preserved and what is past regeneration so that it can be used as the design redevelopment areas. - Bring recognition to a river which has been part of the site's history. - Achieve this with a walkable and cultural corridor along the Mae Ping's edge. - Allow future floods through the new master plan with elevated boardwalks so that daily activities continues during the flood days.
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    Culture as Keystone: Robust Public Housing Communities Through Culturally Appropriate Designs
    ( 2012-05) Griffth, Joanna ; Clifford, Janine ; Architecture
    This Doctorate Project proposes a new approach towards the creation of robust subsidized housing communities through the use of culturally appropriate design. An overview of the state of the nation’s housing and its impact on public housing communities in Hawaii provide context and is supported by an analysis of challenges faced both by creators and residents of two public housing complexes on Oahu. Utilizing tools developed for this project, this paper concludes with a design project for the rehabilitation of a public housing site in Honolulu, Hawaii. The design embodies a new vision of public housing where culture becomes the keystone of robust communities.