Jeroen van Ameijde, Brendon Carlin

Continuing its investigation of design and construction methods for urban structures, Intermediate 6 explored assembly as an ongoing, user-driven design process. Using data-mapping and procedural translational rules, the unit set up design-and-build scenarios to capture and catalyse the complexity of the city. This methodology shifted the designer’s role from form-maker to a process-director who encrypts architectural criteria into an open-ended process that results in highly adapted and site-specific solutions. We concentrated on systems for the growth of buildings as direct outcomes of the social, economic and material flows within cities, thus addressing the contingencies and ambiguities of contemporary societies. 

During Term 1, students tested methods on small sites and used an environmental factor to drive the growth of their designs over time. Teams worked together to generate structures in relation to light, wind or human movement and interaction. This resulted in a variable-density space frame in Ching’s Yard (as seen with Basil, Norine and Soso’s work) and a multi-porosity screen in the Back Members’ Room (Jon, María). Other installations were ‘grown’ to shield people from wind (Natali, Lexie, Alex) or created to respond to and stimulate people’s behaviours on the AA terrace (Christine, Sungbin, Fay).

By Term 2, we had expanded our research into the rapidly changing urban context of Beijing. We studied the traditional hutong’s spatial and organisational characteristics while making a critical assessment of the new urban tower typologies and their effects on Chinese socio-cultural life. Methodologies from Term 1 were expanded to generate high-density buildings that could house a diverse population. Using rule-sets to negotiate the interest of individuals within their context, we designed open-ended architectural systems – with qualities of life encoded into their material and spatial kits of parts – that allow for user-driven urban assemblies.


Unit Staff

Jeroen van Ameijde

Brendon Carlin


With special thanks to

Jelle Fering (TU Delft)

Zhang Hong (Tsinghua University)

Shao Lei (Tsinghua University)

Charles Corry Wright



Christopher Pierce 

Evan Greenberg 

Manja van de Worp 

Eva Eylers 

Clive Fussel

Martin Self

Manuel Jiménez García 

Xavier De Kestelier

Tobias Klein

Nathalie Rozencwajg

Valentin Bontjes van Beek

Manijeh Verghese

Felipe Ignacio Sepulveda

Angel Fernando Lara Moreira 

Bridget Munro

Lei Guo

Ricardo De Ostos

Brett Steele

Ecehan Esra Top

Ke Wang

‘Container Metabolism’: On-site speculative growth scenario for an urban housing system that allows for maximum freedom of reconfigurability through basic limitations. Prefabricated housing units are combined and placed by inhabitants - the architect only locates services, voids and circulation.