Jamie Han

MArch I

Rooms without Programs

Advised by Jeffry Burchard

The concept of housing has undergone various changes throughout history. Once, it used to be a dwelling where different domestic activities took place in a room or a building without spatial divisions. As time passed, we began to value privacy and efficiency above all things; this was greeted by the rise of single-family homes that were arranged by a set of “rooms,” each dedicated to a specific domestic program. This type of single-family home prioritized certain households and lifestyles over others. The nonheteronormative population then had to adapt their lifestyle to the rigidity of the space. This has frequently resulted in a misalignment between the function of the rooms and the use. The problem persists today, heightened due to the pandemic. The violent intrusion of public life (productive work) into the private sphere has induced fatigue and confusion at another level we have yet witnessed. Although there is a recognition of a more diversified population in the housing market today, the only alternative to the generic single-family home is the micro-unit for migrant single populations. This thesis is a search for an alternative proposal that lies between the micro-units and the single-family homes. The proposal starts out by stripping away the standardized room types of their intrinsic programmatic indicators, maintaining the spatial divisions but bringing back the programmatic fluidity in order to accommodate the desires of various shapes of families we see today.

Building facade with drawn cartoon figures