Infinite home. Parametric approach in the design of small-scale residential topology

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Arkkitehtuurin maisteriohjelma
53 + 1
The growth in population and the increasing demand for affordable and sustainable housing in urban areas has given rise to micro-housing solutions. However, recent studies in Finland have exposed the limitations of small flats in meeting the spatial and mental needs of their inhabitants. In light of this context, this thesis explores an alternative micro-housing concept - the tiny housing - as a potential solution to address these shortcomings. To contextualise this concept within the urban landscape, the thesis relies on upward development, considering flat rooftops as viable locations for tiny homes. The thesis perceives tiny house through its basic components and develops workflow that considers its location, energy efficiency, and spatial logic. To formalise these parameters, the study employs a parametric-based approach, utilising Grasshopper, a plugin for Rhinoceros. Grasshopper's capacity to handle diverse data types is harnessed to process GIS data from Open Street Maps, which helps to define the location for future construction based on input boundaries. The energy efficiency factor is articulated through optimization of the roof shape, targeting maximum annual output of the solar kit using evolutionary solver. Consequently, a built-in toolkit is used to ensure translation of predefined spatial logic, generating multiple iterations of the interior space based on user-defined input values. The main objective of this thesis is to explore the potential of a parametric approach in the context of local contemporary micro-housing. The study aims to create responsive, adaptable, and sustainable topology that is able to cater to the unique and changing needs of residents, as well as having potential for strategic implementation by local authorities. Recognizing the complex nature of the concept of home, the study perceives computation-based methodologies as a useful medium for smooth incorporation of examined components into the design process. Ultimately, this study contributes to the ongoing discourse on innovative micro-housing solutions and offers workflow for searching, optimization and adaptation of future construction. By embracing parametric design principles, the proposed topology can potentially provide a durable living landscape that promotes well-being and meets the evolving needs of urban dwellers, at the same time encouraging further exploration and articulation of computation.
Kotnik, Toni
Thesis advisor

tiny housing, upward extension, parametric design, evolutionary solver, Grasshopper, tiny house
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Media files notes: Grasshopper definition Description: Hi-res screenshot of Grasshopper definition which was developed for the thesis Media rights: CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0