The Why Factory (T?F) is a global think-tank and research institute, run by MVRDV and Delft University of Technology. Led by professor Winy Maas, The Why Factory aims to analyze, theorize and construct future cities through education and research by proposing, constructing and envisioning hypothetical societies and cities; from science to fiction and vice versa.
“Wegocity” is an investigation that shows new paths for the introduction of typological diversity in the design of multifamily housing. Our work starts from the premise that the construction of the dense city must not forget that every dwelling (type) should be a (unique) home and that each home should be full of reasons for its future residents to want to live there. On that score, “Wegocity” challenges the idea of tailor-made architecture as a way to produce new dynamics for the city. “Wegocity” works with the human body, explores ergonomics and capacities and defines relationships between desires and spatial needs.
This investigation is the result of the close collaboration between professionals and students in the development of an innovative participatory design tool. Multi-user real-time gaming software will facilitate the design of a user’s dreams and encourage the interactions with others. The tool challenges collectiveness and bottom-up strategies in the dense city deepening the knowledge of the interactions between individuals, groups, and collectivities.
Desire represents thus a leap forward in the understanding of the traditional bottom-up design processes and tests software, game and interactivity for the fulfillment of our collective aspirations.
The paradox of our current urban challenge is that although the city remains the best solution to diminish our impact on the environment we want to live a life that is not standardized, we want to maximize our personal desires; we want to have our dream house without compromises.
How do we solve this seeming unsolvable conflict between freedom and density? What types of architectural solutions and processes can achieve results that please the user’s desires while keeping track of their urban footprint? “Wegocity” aims to tackle this dilemma of maximum desires and maximum density by accommodating the needs of users for a differentiated lifestyle, yet following a restricted urban envelope that keeps energy consumption and footprint under control.
The challenge of the studio is to come up with solutions that give priority to process, negotiation and self-assurance that the result of each house will not aim to arrive at mediocre results but at highly individualized designs. The objective is to devise methods that avoid compromise at all costs.