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Architecture of Scarcity

Becerra Santacruz, Axel (2010) Architecture of Scarcity. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

At the beginning of the 21st century. the challenge of Mexican contemporary architecture is that it requires a different conceptualisation which is not reliant on Western design approaches. It is argued that the resources. values. capacities and priorities of the Global South are very different from those of . the developed Global North. and yet many of the concepts of architecture and sustainability have been uncritically taken from one context to another. The result is that issues of sustainability in the architecture of countries such as Mexico remain under-theorised. The context of scarcity -in natural. human and economic resources of the majority of the population. multicultural diversity. rapid growth and change. and 'chaotic' organisation highlights the very different conditions that exist in the Global South and which demand a new architectonic and urban development based on an alternative model of sustainable design. This thesis proposes that this tension should be addressed in a way that is relevant to these unique local conditions. By defining an Architecture of Scarcity. this thesis aims to develop a potential methodological approach that attempts to address economic. social. environmental and technical issues in a sustainable way based on the idea of scarcity. Architecture of Scarcity is defined as architecture created by the idea of not having sufficient resources to fulfil basic needs. In other words rather than consider architecture from the perspective of commodity and abundant control of resources to produce a 'perfect' product. the thesis recognises the value of the features of production of architecture in a condition of limited in resources and open to 'imperfection'. The thesis first investigates three typical conditions of scarcity production within the Mexican context: the Vernacular. Informal Modernism and Semi-Informal Modernism. In the section Issues of Scarcity it is considered the development of design principles suited to an alternative view of Sustainability which differs from Western concepts. Next these principles are amalgamated as a set of possible Design Tactics and tools to support a revised architectural design process and revised role for the architect. Finally the dynamic nature of the process is captured through the development of a speculative Architecture of Scarcity Game whose aim is to reveal and to make sense of rich possibilities inherent in this design method.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Architecture (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.522569
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2016 15:26
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2016 15:26
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14975

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