Fugitive Architecture: Obsolescence, Aspiration, and Adaptation in Vancouver's Urbanizing Industrial Areas

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Jaworski, Michael Walter David




'Fugitive Architecture' is a provocation born as a response to development practices that commodify architecture through the dictum of "highest and best use." In contrast to market-driven aspirational architecture, this thesis problematizes notions of urban decay and renewal, unsettling norms of market economics and urban planning. Profit-driven design methodologies diminish a building's material quality and longevity, adversely impacting life-cycle outcomes. Central to this thesis is a new design approach that embraces obsolescence and uses adaptability to prolong building lifespans while anticipating aging. This expands material and temporal notions of transience to include socioeconomic and political factors in the built environment. Fieldwork, including the photographic documentation of existing conditions in Vancouver's urbanizing industrial landscapes, informs speculative design interventions over a continuum of scales, from infrastructures to assembly details. Fugitive architecture reciprocates the evolving needs of building inhabitants, area residents, and local communities as they face pervasive gentrification.






Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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