Complete references: CAN DARWIN SHOW US THE WAY? IMPROVING SOCIAL HOUSING THROUGH AN EVOLUTIONARY DESIGN APPROACH, Doris C.C.K. Kowaltowski, Ariovaldo Denis Granja, Vanessa Gomes da Silva & Joyce Ruiz, apresentado e publicado nos anais do International conference 2013 CIB World Building Congress, Brisbane Austrália 5-9 maio, 2013. pp. 1-12
Year: 2013
Type: Trabalhos completos publicados em anais de congressos

The evolutionary theory of Darwin defends that nature develops through natural selection and in gradual small steps, from specific characteristics in great variety to best-fit specific contexts. This paper builds upon previous research experience on social housing projects in Brazil, to advocate for the gradual introduction of small changes in a standard housing model, as a potential way to improve social housing, through a figurative analogy of the insights offered by Darwin in the field of biology. Cross-analysis of implementation costs and value delivery to end-users forms the basis to validate the proposed evolutionary approach. The typical social housing model present in the State of São Paulo adopts similar design principles, based mainly on five storey walk-up apartment blocks, for similar population strata. Desired values and user satisfaction rates, especially in the city of Campinas, in the State of São Paulo, were established in earlier research. Darwin further stimulates the study presented here in giving value to detailed observations - in this case, Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) data - on local social housing. Such data analysis indicates that the present design model needs improvements. Changes should occur in stages, as progressive improvements, through an evolutionary process. Evolutionary change can be tested along the way, avoiding the substitution of an old model with a new, but not yet tried design typology. Value perceived and desired by final users can act as persuasion arguments in the decision making process. The step-by-step approach is useful to convince social housing stakeholders of the true benefit of such improvements and impact on quality of life enhancement. Gradual change is also important for economic reasons, being less costly and technically more viable. Various opportunities for improvement are outlined in this paper, demonstrating that evolutionary, incremental change only needs sporadic larger ?mutations?, once simpler elements have been dealt with. As in natural processes, systematic assessments are important after every small evolution, to evaluate if and to which extent improvements were achieved and that they are user- and context-conscious. The discussion on the development of a Darwinian inspired model to improve the design of social housing in the studied context shows that, although mass-produced, this type of architecture can evolve towards more customized, comfortable, sustainable and higher quality homes.

File: View