Alastair Parvin: Architecture for the people by the people

Alastair Parvin: Architecture for the people by the people

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    Penny Lane

    Wow, the thermal insulation of this house must suck. I know it's about standard in the US but then we know that we don't have enough planets to make everyone live like Americans.

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    Leonidas GGG

    Yes. But that only covers the costs of the site. I'm talking also about the manufacturing. In third world countries, were this would be hugelly useful, it's very hard to find materials, and people with the skills needed to build these things.

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    Austin Pruitt

    im glad he mentioned the 3d printing machines, they are going to be a solid part of the future of design..

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    Michael McLoughlin

    Fair points, you are right that knowledge is still very important. I think what the talk missed is that open design needs to be combined with other forms of open-source such as education (i.e. Khan Academy) and trade (time banks and Bitcoin being early examples). Once these things start to coalesce, the top-down structures will start to be replaced with a more democratic version of people getting things done =] The current batch of 'experts' in charge of society and the economy have failed us.

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    Zylork0122

    This is not architecture. This is what I call development. Architecture is one of a kind and comes from the soul of an architect. A development comes from a group of people designing something that already exists. I would feel really bad if my career choice of architecture will become this madness. It shouldn't. We still have talented architects around the world that want this profession to stay alive.

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    kevin9794

    I agree sir. I must also add that concrete is also very advantageous in certain climates where wood might just not be the best option. In humid places for example, or those with heavy rainy seasons, wood wouldn't last even a decade.

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    kevin9794

    Well Sir, architecture is "The art or practice of designing and constructing buildings", and you said it yourself, this is "group of people designing something".

    I reckon your trouble here is that this type of architecture takes the personality of the architect out of the building. It is architecture without the "art".

    If you rather be an artist, go ahead! Keep doing art and become an artist. This is just the "design" aspect of architecture, being democratised.

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    Jake Day Williams

    The 3D printing industry has been oversold these last ten years. People believe it's going to be as big as the internet when it comes to the economy. Wrong.

    People can already build their own furniture today. They don't.

    Individuals don't have the bargaining powers an Apple or GM have with materials and labor.

    This is why I skipped architecture school and went straight to practice. Arch. students put trams through people's front yards. They're Irrational idiots blinded by ideals.

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    gasdive

    My local council planning approval team will be delighted… Not.

    I can't see any way to get people powered design going with councils standing in the way. That third level of government is firmly against anything that happened after 1850.

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    gasdive

    There are some concrete building systems using inflated membranes that would work well with locally designed and computer cut membrane panels. However they do require electric fans to keep them inflated.

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    Frezzed

    Only problem I see with this, and also the 3d printing movement, is how these goods are going to live up to the building standards and item quality that is defined by law.. 3d printed plastic bolts and nuts aren't as strong as i.e. one of iron or steel.. So how is this going to be solved… Unless they start printing objects that are the real deal.. and not just plastic or plaster copies?

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    Mara Villaseca

    Realistically though, man shapes his environment according to his needs and preferences which change from culture to culture. Mankind tends to reject uniformity so what looks like a cardboard cut-out puzzle for a house doesn't look so practical. If informal settlements from all over the world manage to build structures without such complex puzzles or blueprints, I can't see how this would be effective in the long run. From my viewpoint, ICEBs seem more revolutionary.

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    Mara Villaseca

    Anyway, this would be great for disaster-stricken communities. It would help. All in all still a good idea.

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    qkhalili

    This is a real representation of selflessness and care for others. Whether we agree with the idea or not, whether its going to work or not, bottom line is people like him deserve respect. It is my firm belief that the most noble accomplishment in one's life is to help others.

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    Gianfranco Calabretta Sesin

    First we need to get back the land to the people…..
    and then apply a system named: 'land-socialism' where nobody can buy, sale or rent the space-land and share this one.

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    tempo3rd

    I'm not really sure what is so revolutionary about wiki house. IF you have a CNC machine, you can build a small house more easily than before. That's cool, but in what way is this house better quality than other houses? How can this technology be applied to solving the problems he talks about, like urban sanitation, natural disasters or energy efficiency? It democratizes the construction of crappy houses, but they're still crappy houses.

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    Hyperias989

    Question: Will this put architects out of a job? I mean, if anyone can modify a universal design and can design it themselves, will this not kill the profession? The client would essentially become the "architect".

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    Gigerius Magnus

    The basic asumption that ervery architecht only builds for the top percentage of people ist wrong! I he must be baffling his listeners deliberately to be able to make a point for his approach.

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    Gigerius Magnus

    So what is his point? We can build cheap, simple houses? Is that new? There are many examples of how to do it. No Wikihouse necessary. btw. the favelas are the houses from the cheapest availible material. perfectly adapted to skills and need of the poeple living in them. This i sa colection of cursorily logic sounding half-wisdom.

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    Gigerius Magnus

    Wooden buildings are possible up to 100m height.
    And guess what is the most of the work architects do? Build housinf complexes for the mayority of people, who couldnt afford their own house and earn less, than he proposed.

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    Gigerius Magnus

    Same logic would be, that you can 3d print an stethoscope, therefore you dont need doctors anymore.

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    Vegar Valle

    Concrete or other high thermal mass materials in very humid climates is not a very good idea, because they take far too long to cool down/heat up. Vernacular architecture in those regions are either lightweight, open wooden frameworks (warm), or highly insulated, wood-clad log cabins (cold).

    Also, several high-quality woods survive extreme humidity just fine, and lower-quality woods can easily be weather-proofed. That also applies to concrete, by the way.

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    Matthew Bendyna

    Open source is the present of software and the future of everything else, even the design of the socio economic system

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    qpae123

    I stat to sufocate only when I look at this misery.
    Remembers me of ww2 concetration camps, where people lived like chikens w8ing to be sloughter.
    Humans need big spaces, gardens, air..not to live like sardines. That is not life, that is at best survival at lowest posible grade.

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    an8er

    Who wants to live in a box? Decent living needs big spaces, trees, flowes… give us some fuckin' nature, will ya! And some fresh air, if we're not asking for too much.
    🙂
    The problem is that nobody gives a fuck! Architects work for that 1% of the population 'cause that 1% of the population doesn't give a fuck! That 1% needs to keep the 99% working for them. Housing problems are a made up problem. If you find ANY solution, they'll soon take care of it, and that solution won't be cheap anymore.

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    an8er

    … cars run on petrol / gas, right? House heating is done by burning coal, petrol, gas… whatever!
    🙂
    If you find a solution for all the cars to run on nothing, and house heating to be done on nothing, the government will have to put a price on that fuckin' nothing, and "nothing" will become fuckin' expensive. BECAUSE the system works by taxing humans' needs. They'll still have to cash the same money or more, and if you don't buy petrol anymore they'll charge whatever is that you're buying.

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    MrSzviktor

    This is not the point, If you need a shelter in the middle of nowhere for whatever… you will like the ideea of smoll, cheap house.

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    Alexandre Sk

    I think about that for a long time, as a lot of people, cnc in construction, great somebody its doing it.

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    LusiFr

    This will sound bad but for the sake of my future i hope there is a war where building get destroyed so i can find a job.

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    adi cahya

    I think, this project should target developing countries, this is where housing become a problem. Like in Indonesia,here land and building material become too costly for most of the people. And, a CNC cutting machine is rare..
    I see land used per house also decreasing, a couple years ago its about 90-100m2, now it began with 60-75m2. Build cost also rise from about 150 USD/m2 to around 250-300 USD/m2.
    I hope, we can all solve this problem together

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    kevin9794

    Well my city is basically made out of concrete, and I leave in a tropical area by the coast. You hardly ever see any wooden structures here. Concrete and bricks have worked well for us; and it's cheaper than wood.

    Wood needs maintenance too, and gets attacked by bugs; another reason we avoid it.

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    Gerome Gerardo

    Whish they open source "real" standard architecture plans. Than we can go building it the usual way with wood. This is much cheaper than using a CNC and puzzling pieces. Vote for open source standard architecture!

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    Elibjr

    This is an interesting concept. Then you could "panelize" everything… pre-wired lighting panels, pre-drilled plumbing panels, and pre-panelized HVAC units which would reduce collision for larger structures. This, if taken seriously could be quite innovative, and extremely green! This is the most revolutionary building philosophy in over 30 years…I think! We should try this for disaster areas!

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    James Bailey

    As the spker touched upon, architecture has become a means self glorification. The questions we should be asking of the buildings we create are; how does this building REALLY service the needs of its occupants…

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    AlexanderEBott

    I know, I could really imagine some African tribesman operating a computer and CNC machine with plywood laying around some where.

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    Tommy K

    clap if you like the idea of living in a house built by unskilled workers, designed by untalented owners, certified structurally sound by no-one, completely uninsurable and likely unsellable.

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    Barbora Hlavičková

    the only problem I see is the cnc machine 😀 .. btw my sister just bough a wooden tool shed which was build by 1 person and probably is half the size of the house and it costed 1000 €so dunno if this wikihouse is still not too expensive and complicated .. but in some way good idea

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    uncleshan

    cool idea.
    skeptical comments ive read have some merit, time for them to contribute soloutions..
    using dimensional lumber and cnc joint cutters to make mortise and tenon joins accurately sounds good to me.
    i like the no nails thing..
    oh and the idea of having a toy like the cnc machine in the garage too!

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    Archi Mug

    It is a noble and visionary concept; I would love to see it getting tweaked and 'hacked' with different materials (contruction materials that are available locally) and different house requirents. Hope this takes off !

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    walter0bz

    unfortunately you can't print land. still its good to see people thinking outside of the box, i hope these type of opensource hardware projects gain traction

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    Rick Drysdale

    What a crock. architects work for more than the 1%. They work for government , people who want houses, and many more. What is the point of this? selling something to idiots .If  you want to build a house fine but when you want to sell it that's the time others get screwed.
    Using CNC , you must be tool challenged.
    God the world is full of idiots.

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    Boubacar Gueye

    Democratization of production, Such a great concept, I think this would be beneficial for 3 world countries and It sthg that We "young architect" of 3rd would countries should built on 

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    Peter Velchev

    Do you happen to realise how ridiculously stupid this sounds. Pushing forward this idea will change NOTHING. I support people being strongly connected to the design and works of their homes. However this doesnt solve Architects working for " the 1%" . Because by working for themselves the people wont need many Architects, and so they will be FORCED to work for "the 1%" in order to earn anything, because not everyone builds homes every day.

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    dobcsek

    No, I don't think the 1% is accurate. Zaha Hadid has a lot of work in China for example, where average people are not earning 24K either. Czech Republic (also not as weathy as the UK) has a Gehry building and I can list these for long. I'm from eastern Europe, so I know that in our culture, we often splash out on expensive and bling bling stuff just to show off. Showing off is part of our culture, even though we can't afford it. So saying that they are building for 1% of the population isn't accurate or credible.

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    Drake Chapman

    This is so horrifically uneducated and presumptuous. I am astounded that a great institution such as TED Talks allowed him to speak. So self-serving and opinionated beyond rationale. There are fair points that he suggests, but his basic economic strategy is so flawed it left me red in the face. Citizens should not design buildings or neighborhoods because they are not educated in the science or art that procures a development. The people we build for are doctors, teachers, lawyers, gas station attendants, soldiers, secretaries, department heads, etc. They are good at what they do. Let us be good at what we do. To call this man a fool would give him a compliment he does not deserve.

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    Futures

    The factory of the
    future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be
    there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from
    touching the equipment.

    Warren Bennis
    Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/warrenbenn402360.html

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    Jesse Cole

    Problems like these have been solvable for decades… let's get on to the real challenge: combating the lobbyists for developers who pay government officials to make it lawfully impossible to do anything but continue to funnel all the money in the direction of those developers, and who make it their life's work to prevent the common man from being able to own the means of production.

    James Marsden here is gonna have to think of a better solution I'm afraid.

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    Iro Borges (irokauk)

    bla bla bla… this guy is around 25 year in the world and have the guts to actually think he solved a problem. What a tool… thats why 5 years passed by and nobody heard about him.

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    Kay Em

    After WW2 it was was seen as unprestigious to work for developers. The best architects worked in local authority housing and the public sector. Housing was stopped by Thatcherite economics, which coincided with PostModernism's return to glitter (specifically via Learning from Las Vegas), and "star architects". In the process the distinction between "commercial offices" and socially committed architects (Alvar Aalto and Niemeyer had both declared that and Bauhaus was based on that) became blurred. Now the so- called cutting edge designers are more than happy to work for any sheikh. The great effort of the Modernists to not be at the service of the courts and the church was reversed by PostModernism. There are many things that need real architectural input and solutions, however the situation has been frozen. Despite an exterior and pretence of radicalism, the situation is totally preventive of real creative work, which also shows itself in formal exaggeration.

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    Architect J. Tapia R.

    Screw this guys… Though it’s a good Ted Talk I have to accept it … But come on Man… Architects will always need to work… Don’t be like that…

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    Sebastian Francks

    Left speechless after this talk. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas Alastair, I thought they were absolutely spot on and makes great sense.

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    Art Commissions from Commission it

    When will Wikihouse release the plans? Its been "Coming soon (Find out more)" for a long time

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