N. John Habraken (john@habraken.org)

The Grunsfeld Variations. A demonstration project on the coordination of a design team in urban design and architecture.

Cambridge, MIT Laboratory for Architecture and Planning, 1981. With J.A. Aldrete-Haas, R. Chow, T. Hille, P. Krugmeier, M. Lampkin, A. Mallows, A Mignucci, Y. Takase, K. Weller, T. Yokouchi.

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Ten architects, students of the MIT Science Masters in Architecture Studies (SMArchS) program participated in this six week demonstration project. Our intention was to show how cooperation among architects working on a large project could be more effective and yield a richer result if methodical tools were employed.

The first phase was to set up patterns, types, and other thematic values to be applied in the project. Ten different aspects of the project were identified and each was allocated to one of the participants for further study. The task being to establish clear thematic principles for later use by all participating architects.

For the second phase the project's site was subdivided in ten parts. Each participant to design one part using the thematics developed in the first phase. Because all participants used the same thematics, interface between designer's territories was simplified.

The general experience was that:

* because of the clear allocation of design tasks in both phases, time spent on interaction and coordination was minimized and maximized in effectiveness.

* because the same thematics were used by all, coherence - in - variation was easily achieved.


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