Of the thesis entitled: Learning from the Commonplace | designing diversity
This thesis asserts that an informal bottom-up urban setting has substantial value to formal architecture. In reality, top-down and bottom-up phenomena are not two distinct systems but a weighted system with opposing levels of control and freedom influencing the same elements. This thesis seeks to extract the genetic code of the commonplace as a design instrument. It aims to uncover the underlying design principles within the urban environment and redeploy them as operative design strategies. Although a systematic design approach that inherently suggests regularity and order seems like the antithesis of the bottom-up driven commonplace, the generic rules implied by top-down design are nevertheless part of the same spectrum which emphasizes the properties of the commonplace by becoming the key counterpoint.
Drawing from precedents, research begins from pure documentation and analysis of the existing but goes one step further to discover the genetic armature of the commonplace. Analysis must therefore shift from the singular element to understanding multiple elements that act as interconnected layers so that one may discover the overall quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the commonplace. The genetics of the commonplace are comprised of complex layers of building fabric, signage, occupation and culture.
The design portion of the thesis envisions the potential to merge the properties of top-down and bottom-up as a design strategy. In particular, the thesis embraces a new methodology of design through scripting. Parametric coding creates an active rule set that is able to work through complex iterations at a global and local scale. By coding flexibility into a system with defined spatial, programmatic and other context specific limits, the results will push opposing characteristics to their full capacity to discover the unrealized power of architecture to embody both emergent and hierarchical relationships.
 Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan. New ed. New York: Monacelli Press, 1994.
The examining committee is as follows:
Mona El Khafif, University of Waterloo
Ila Berman, University of Waterloo
Michael Piper, University of Toronto
The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Defence Examination will take place:
Tuesday February 23, 2016
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.
7 Melville Street South
Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4