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Diagram: John Habraken

John Habraken

Evolutionary Architecture

John Habraken is an Architect, professor, and theorist


In his book, Supports: An Alternative to Mass Housing, Habraken discusses "open buildings" and how these can be implemented worldwide to assist in housing production. His paper, The Uses of Levels, describes how to organize the built environment into five ‘levels’ (Urban structure, urban tissue, building, infill, furniture). Together these form the elements of open buildings.

Through this research, Habraken has established his own method to the mass production of housing as an example of open buildings, where the large physical infrastructure (or ‘supports’) is developed by an organization and then the design of the layout (or ‘infill’) is developed later by the individual. The models such as core houses and support/ infill are demonstrated through this paper on how control is distributed throughout the many project types.

This leaves the developments with various degrees of freedom and the flexibly for the individual to adapt to their own circumstances.The main structural components are still developed and can be mass produced, also but this allows for variations within the floorplans by individuals that are not the purpose behind the method but the emergent results.

Professionals often take on a top-down approach where they handle the higher level responsibilities and the users then develop the infill from the bottom-up, while maintaining the flexibility to change and improve their developments over time.

As Habraken states, “The distinction of levels, as they operate in the real world, allows us to organize our work in a more sophisticated way. We no longer need to seek a similar solution for all purposes, but we can find the best approach in each case.” In all of these cases the housing developments are able to adapt and respond to not just the urban structure but also to the individual which could lead to overall improvements in mass development.

http://www.oikodomos.org/workspaces/app/webroot/files/references/text/bozmen_11_Habraken-_the_uses_of_levels.pdf

Text adapted from a contribution by Samantha Barger, Iowa State University, 2021

 


Cite this page:

Wohl, S. (2022, 18 May). John Habraken. Retrieved from https://kapalicarsi.wittmeyer.io/definition/n-john-hebraken

John Habraken was updated May 18th, 2022.

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There would be some thought experiments here.

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