Based on the hypothesis of maximum density achievement and maximum desire fulfillment, the subsequent research and book of The Why Factory’s “Future Cities” series -to be published in association with NAi010 Publishers in Rotterdam- explores the potentials of desire-based design processes, capable of introducing the residents’ wishes in the construction and adaptation of housing and the city.
“Wegocity: Tailor-Made Housing” investigates participatory processes applied to housing design. These processes establish a negotiation between the desires of each of the residents of a housing slab and help determine the design of their apartments. To achieve this, “Wegocity” manifests a particular interest in the development of a gaming process. This game leverages the specificities of each resident and transforms them into spatial needs. This way, unexpected housing typologies emerge within a truly human-driven housing architecture.
“Wegocity” will compile the research undertaken by The Why Factory together with students from TU Delft and IIT Chicago, RMIT Melbourne and Bezalel Academy Jerusalem. The research begins with the acknowledgment that even though we have measured and compared almost all that can be quantified (areas, densities, uses, users…), we had avoided getting to the bottom of the matter, to the bottom of the wishing well that housing represents to its residents. We know that the dense city must be built, but while building the city, we cannot forget the desires of every individual and their dream home: the home of the user who will put their name on their letterbox.
How do we make then every dwelling become a desirable home? Students were asked to tackle the challenge of converting density into desire by accommodating the users’ needs, yet following a restricted urban envelope that keeps energy consumption and carbon footprint under control. Students developed an innovative tool (a game) capable of facilitating and visualizing a typological puzzle resulting when different clients, cultures and desires come to live together. The resulting intensity of the proposals is due to the convergence of many interests and the resolution of conflicts. We believe that this intensity, when applied to housing, can optimize land use, help combat inequality and counteract the centrifugal force condemning urban development to urban sprawl.