Diversifying Architecture

During Dean Fisher’s lecture on the fracture critical he touched on the concept of diversifying architecture. Dean Fisher made the claim that by diversifying the types of houses and buildings in a given area they would be less susceptible to some of the effects of the fracture critical. One area that these diversified areas would be protected from would be economic. In the case of the recent recession the housing market drastically impacted massive amounts of neighborhoods that were laid out in close orthogonal proximity sharing a homogenous, and repetitive design. When one houses value fell the other houses fell and a domino effect ensued. Areas that contained a higher level of diversity among their architecture were protected from this effect.

Diversity in architecture served as a protection method in an economic downturn but what other benefits does it yield to us as designers. These benefits may have an impact in areas such as layout. Instead of continuing the current practice of packing homogenous houses into dense orthogonal layouts we would have to lay each house or a set of building types more intentionally. This would allow us to exploit natural features that may other wise be altered to allow this density. A diversity of architecture would also allow designers to place more diverse programs into a closer proximity. Your grocery store and coffee shop may be within close walking distance diminishing our addiction to driving. Diversity within the built environment may be more critical than we thought and may need to be reexamined in terms of our layout, and amongst the structures we design.


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