Isa He

MArch I

Designing Responsive Architecture: Human-Building Coevolving

Advised by Jeffry Burchard

Why is architecture thought of as static while its occupants are dynamic? What if architecture was not a building of programmatic requirements but dynamic and responsive to the rituals, habits, and behaviors of its occupants? Could we imagine architecture as living artifact, expressing its internal complexity by coevolving with its users? Could we imagine a different human-building relationship?

The traditional understanding of our relationship to buildings is that we shape our buildings and afterward our buildings shape us. However, buildings are commissioned by clients and designed by architects who rarely inhabit those buildings. In this world, our relationship with architecture is one-sided and the nuances of our daily activities are lost in its static-ness. As users, we continuously reappropriate and modify spaces as more isolated and disjointed ad hoc interventions.

What if architecture was in continuous dialogue with its occupants to produce spaces and spatial relations that can better suit their changing needs? As the pace of technological innovation picks up, mobility industries face a rapidly evolving landscape. I propose a research and production facility for first- and last-mile mobility vehicles as a vessel for investigation where user groups jointly choreograph the spatial evolution of the building, spanning different temporal and physical scales. The transformations reflect the myriad of hidden external forces pressing upon near-future factories.

Isa He, MArch I. 
Three cross-section illustrations of a building.
Isa He, MArch I. 
Responsive Architecture: St. Gall Transformation.
Isa He, MArch I. 
Responsive Architecture: Urban Automobile Factory Plans + Program.