LUNIT

MISSIONAs a solution to current economic and social concerns existing in the housing industry, (i.e. affordability, sustainability and individual customization), the LUNIT Project has been established at the Harvard Graduate School of Design as a research initiative for students, faculty and practitioners. The studio will identify emerging economical technologies and trends, and synthesize recent advancements in design, manufacturing, materials, processes and systems in order to construct and create a new prefabricated building format – the LUNIT. The creation of habitats is the mainstay of an architect\'s creative language. The evolving needs of society necessitate the evolution of a language synthesizing and incorporating new technologies and advances. The purpose of this study would be the creation of modules that would present to the students the opportunity to articulate, interpret and reconsider a new building format. The students will construct a comprehensive thesis and design using the language of architecture, tectonics and spatial expression to create a LUNIT combining the exterior and interior relationship based on an analysis of the site, scale, landscape, structure, infrastructure, light, sustainability, materials and the relationship to these and other identifiable and pragmatic typologies in order to brand the LUNIT to the public. Charles MiroztnikLUNIT 2006Since the broader mission of the research program is too vast for a single studio, the aim of the first semester will be to establish a working medium by targeting the building industry directly as a foundation for further work. As such, the first half of the fall semester will be conducted as a period of research and analysis of the construction industry; at the same time, each week there will be a lecture by an architect or a construction expert, as a way of situating our work within broader current debates. Among others, we will study the steel, wood, glass and pre-cast concrete industries, and the studio will have the opportunity to visit and learn about the means and methods of fabrication of each of the construction disciplines. The aim of the research will be to assess the capabilities of the industry and imagine alternative strategies and ways in which the techniques of mass-customization may become relevant to –and even alter– their building practices. The analysis period will be paired up with smaller design exercises to speculate on material behavior, techniques of aggregation, the interface between software and digital manufacturing, and proposals for mock-ups. The broader aim of the semester is to research and develop a series of \'systems\', interpreting current building industry standards, but also imagining new modes of assembly towards the invention of interchangeable, flexible, or adaptive building components around which both architects and clients can speculate on customization. Ever since its emergence as a significant theme in modern architecture, prefabrication has been associated with a sense of sterility and uniformity, and in turn, haunted by its limitations with respect to quality, variation, and character. Thus, even before the advent of customization, the question of the individual whim, desire, or necessity- was in some form of dialogue –if not conflict– with the idea of mass production. This is most evident in Levittown, where the radical repetition of low-cost units were only able to be countered with the individuals\' domination of their interiors, while the overall character of their exteriors waited one generation before renovations, additions, and economic advancements offered the possibility of personal expression, typological alteration, or a hint of alternative iconography. Of course, it is also argued that the question of housing has very little to do with architecture, if judged statistically– since the major