2014

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    More-than-Store: Expanding the Experience of Retail Phenomenon
    ( 2014-05) Abhari, Maryam ; Ashraf, Kazi ; Architecture
    Architecture is an important part of modern retail environments. Architectural design affect customers’ experiences, feelings, memories, and ultimately their decisions. This research focuses on retail design in order to understand the connection between architecture, customer experience, and brand identity. The intention is to explore how architecture affects our experience of retail spaces. The first phase of this study was to understand the Apple Phenomenon, which refers to a paradigm shift, occurred in contemporary retail stores’ design. Apple Phenomenon was used as a point of departure to formulate a new design-thinking approach that can transform the traditional approach to retailing. The research results revealed that rather than focusing on offered products or services in a retail environment, retailers with the help of architects can focus on customers’ experiential desires (i.e. Sense, Feel, Think, Act, and Relate) and program-driven environmental experience formation and value co-creation. In the light of Apple phenomenon, the concept of ‘more-than-store’ was introduced as an alternative approach to retail design and then three alternative designs were proposed to exemplify this concept. This design thinking approach addresses key concerns in retail planning and design in order to (a) overcome commoditization problems, (b) improve differentiation strategies, and (c) narrow the gaps between conventional retail planning and real customer desires.
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    Senior Cohousing: An Alternative for Hawaii's Elderly
    ( 2014-05) Hara, Norma ; Noe, Joyce ; Architecture
    Hawaii has a high elderly population compared to the mainland United States. There are a number of factors that contribute to the high percentage of elderly in Hawaii, which includes lifestyle, weather, genetics, and diet, to name but a few. Currently, there are a limited number of housing options available for the elderly in Hawaii. Current forecasts indicate an increase in the retirement population, which will further stress the elderly housing situation of the State. The theory of senior cohousing communities, as an alternative form of elderly housing in Hawaii, is based on a literature review of the historical successes already in practice in other locations outside of Hawaii. Case studies of faith-based organizations in Hawaii that exemplify designing, building, and living in community were chosen, analyzed, and incorporated into a prototype design that is reflective of Hawaii. Surveys of senior residents, currently living in a community setting in Hawaii, were conducted. GIS mapping was utilized to determine the optimal site selection for locating community resources that are vital to the elderly population. Senior cohousing communities can offer seniors the security of living amongst other seniors who will be integral members in their daily lives. Faith-based organizations can be the foundation upon which these communities are built. Inherent components of these organizations could include land holdings, outreach social services, parish ministries, and community-service programs. All of these can play a vital role in the success of these communities. Senior cohousing communities can be another alternative to the current senior housing options available in Hawaii. The compilation of this project’s research and findings has resulted in a guideline that can aid the public in the process, site selection and design to further the development of such communities.
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    The Study of Symbiotic Relationship between Pedestrian Systems and Buildings in High-Dentisty Cities
    ( 2014-05) He, Mengxi ; Llewellyn, Clark ; Architecture
    Traffic systems are so important that they shape the form of cities. And yet the growing number of vehicles in high-density cities creates a situation that places pedestrians in direct competition with vehicles for space, especially in city centers. Current methods, such as underground and elevated walkways, are just passive measures. They do not integrate pedestrian, vehicular and building systems and therefore are not conducive to a city’s street life. At best, these systems still leave pedestrian traffic intermittent and discontinuous, instead of streamlining the flow of people and goods. Buildings play vital roles in urban space, such as offering public space within buildings, supporting the function needed by the public, improving the environment of public space, and working as nodes to reconcile the contradiction between vehicles and pedestrians. In order to implement these roles, a symbiotic relationship between pedestrian systems and buildings is required. Currently in China, functions are highly concentrated in city centers and cities are developing towards a high-density, which leads to the development of three-level traffic systems especially in city centers. In the process of weaving together new building and traffic infrastructure, China has a great opportunity to establish pedestrian systems that are integrated with buildings. The main work of the paper is listed below: (1) With the analysis of the successful pedestrian systems of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Boston, I summarized a variety of connection methods between buildings and pedestrian systems, as well as several ways that multi-function buildings support pedestrian systems. After that, the Assessment Methodology was proposed in terms of the three precedents together with related theories. (2) By implementing the Assessment Methodology on three city centers in Shanghai (Wujiaochang, Yangpu District, Lujiazui, Pudong District and Xujiahui, Xuhui District), I summarized the merits and demerits of each urban center. (3) I proposed the design strategy for the symbiotic relationship between pedestrian systems and buildings on the basis of previous analysis of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Boston, together with the three city centers in Shanghai. (4) Basing on the 5 design strategies, I proposed a design for one site within Wujiaochang. I integrated buildings and pedestrian systems to create a convenient, II desirable and dynamic place for pedestrians, as well as solve the existing challenges of pedestrian systems in the entire area. The symbiotic relationship between pedestrian systems and buildings is to clarify the role of buildings in pedestrian systems, allowing buildings to serve as essential nodes, and integrate with the pedestrian systems. Thus, it would contribute to the continuity of pedestrian behavior and offer functional support, enhance the efficient and comfort level for pedestrian, stimulate more socializing and activities in public space, and therefore will improve the street culture. Especially in high-density cities, buildings can be utilized to interconnect the pedestrian systems on elevated, ground, and underground levels, contributing to safe, convenient and desirable walking environment. Hence the symbiotic relationship between pedestrian systems and buildings will help to address the problems found in existing pedestrian systems within high-density cities.
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    the Interitance and Transformation of Traditional Huizhou Elements into New Forms: Redesigning Lu Village
    ( 2014-05) Jiang, Naibin ; Sarvimaki, Marja ; Architecture
    The hardest part in the preservation of traditional culture is the inheritance of its spiritual meaning. Therefore, it is important to adhere to the creation of regional architecture through the interpretation of local environment and climate, ethnic culture and architecture influenced by traditional philosophies. In the context of global acculturation, it is necessary to revitalize domestic architectural expression by promoting the fusion of world culture and local traditional culture. The historic Huizhou region lies in what is now Anhui province. With all the tangible and intangible cultural heritage it bestows, it is not only one of the many cultural treasures of China, but also provides possible inspiration for modern architectural design. Therefore, by research of Huizhou area, this thesis defines the hidden order as well as the ethic and spiritual connotations of traditional culture and architecture of Huizhou by examining the intangible cultural factors affecting architecture. The ultimate goal is to apply these interpretations of intangible cultural heritage hidden behind the tangible cultural heritage to a contemporary architectural expression in Huizhou in addition to preserving existing historical buildings. After the research part, the Section 2 demonstrates preservation and redesign of a particular case in Huizhou, namely the Lu Village. By exploring the tangible and intangible characteristics of Lu Village, the aim is to find the harmonious relationship between past, present and future. Therefore, the rehabilitation and redevelopment plan of Lu Village is based on the discussion on Huizhou in general (section1) and special features of Lu Village in order to preserve old when appropriate and to design new in accordance to the spirit of place, and to improve the living conditions which ensures life of future generation.
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    Black Boxes and Gray Spacs: how Illegal Accessory Dwellings Find Regulatory Loopholes
    ( 2014-05) Lau, Questor Lau ; Miao, Pu ; Architecture
    Honolulu has one of the highest costs of living and the most unaffordable real estate (relative to income) in the nation (NILHC 2014) (Performance Urban Plannning 2012). Meanwhile, the current state of regulation in Honolulu is like a Black Box: perceived as slow, confusing and uncertain. In response, communities manifest Gray Spaces such as Illegal Accessory Dwellings (iADUs). Symbolically and physically, the ubiquity of iADUs lies in their agility to circumvent Black Box restrictions while preserving owner and users’ flexibility of use. When homeowners obtain permits for rooms labeled as “TV” or “Rumpus Room” and then (without a permit) convert the use of these spaces into an independent dwelling unit, they are cultivating ambiguity, using gray areas within the zoning code as a form of urban-economic resilience. Thus, when urban plans do not meet the needs of the community, homeowners respond by finding loopholes in land use regulations, using these types of living arrangements to create needed rentals (Reade and Di 2000). This paper highlights one such irony created by this semantic game: a structure can be built-to-code, but how it is used – can still be illegal. For example, when a floor plan is designed with a separate entry and kitchenette, it strongly suggests an eventual use as a separate dwelling unit. Thus, the rate at which Illegal Accessory Dwellings are created can be estimated by quantifying such suspicious floor plans. From 2005-2012, Illegal Accessory Dwellings comprised a low of 30% up to 46% of all new residential dwellings units created (not counting apartments and hotels). The highest rate of production was in 2008, during the Great Recession. Thus, this paper suggests that not only do Illegal Accessory Dwellings contribute a substantial number of units to the overall housing supply but also that homeowners increasingly rely on them during poor economic conditions. This research also serves as an example of how big data (ie. building permit information) is transforming people’s ability to understand their communities and how GIS maps can help spatially visualize data, thereby bolstering civic engagement. This paper also raises issue of US Census undercounting of “housing units”. Given the significant number of this type of housing, new methods that enable researchers to more accurately portray actual vs planned density, could potentially shift the official landscape of urban growth, infrastructure, and resource allocation. Research methods include correlational research, GIS mapping and case studies to explain how homeowners circumvent the rules.