HOW MUCH CAN WE PRE-DESIGN?
Does each project that an architect gets demand a clean slate to start with, or is design a cumulative and progressive process? Can each project be a build-up on the previous one? How much can one prepare by pre-designing, when time is a major constraint. Designers and architects often see each project in isolation rather than looking at them as a continuous design process, while if certain elements are pre-designed with a good amount of thought, can be reused in projects with some minor changes as required. Hesitation of architects to use elements from previous projects lead to compromise in the next one.
Specifically in the context of housing, where a lot of elements and amenities remain same across different projects, the idea to pre –design can help architects to structure their time in a more efficient manner and hence design better. For example, options for window size and shutter, depending on the floor height, orientation, visibility and sound, can be pre-designed and organised in a form a ready catalogue to be used for any project. Similarly, this catalogue can expand horizons, and include other such elements. Some of them are discussed below:
Flooring patterns, materials, textures play an important role in the sensorial experience of space, but are often left out due to time. Parking layouts can affect the structural grids to a large extent, which in turn affect the unit layout. Hence efficient parking grid options can be pre designed, in relation to possible structural grids.
It is often observed that while designing individual residential units, a lot of thought is given in space exploration and improving the experience of the home, while the same is not given priority in the design of mass housing, given that the act of living is equally important. The end argument usually lands either on time constraint and scale of the mass housing projects or the profitability aspect.
Can we stack Farnsworth house or Kamla house on top of each other and design a vertical mass housing?