This research studies the designs of existing housing stock in London in order to establish an empirical basis upon which the discussions on housing design policy, more specifically, space standards and design manuals, can be grounded. As they stand, they are not only based on minimum furniture and moving space dimensions, but also on design decisions that dictate a limited range of housing typologies.
The research is built upon the quantitative analysis of a large number of floor plans collected across different typologies. Such method appeals to the understanding of the existing housing stock through the range of housing interiors, rather than the common types. Recently developed machine learning algorithms make possible a study of this scale. Such study contributes to the understanding of the existing practices both in the new built and converted dwellings and the varieties of spatial dimensions, forms, configurations and their relationships.
By integrating qualitative approaches to the quantitative study of the floor plans, the research further discusses the design problems that emerge out of these relationships. Altogether, these outcomes contribute to a larger study of the ways standard-making can take different spatial forms and configurations into account, ultimately aiming at challenging the existing practices of standard-making, which are based on an understanding of a universal minimum of space requirements and repetition, with one that recognises and encourages variety.
Seyithan Ozer graduated with a PhD from the RCA in summer 2021. Congratulations! During his PhD research, Seyithan (BArch, MPhil, PhD) also acted as a research assistant at Design Research Lab, at the Royal College of Art, School of Architecture. His work in the Lab focused on the use of quantitative data in understanding and responding to design problems from the scale of housing units to neighbourhoods. Before arriving at the RCA, Seyithan received an MPhil degree from the Projective Cities programme at the Architectural Association. His current research analyses the design of dwellings in London’s existing housing stock in relation to regulatory, market-driven, and user-driven standardisation processes. He taught Critical and Contextual Studies at the University of Hertfordshire (2018-2021) and has contributed to various research projects at the Royal College of Art. He is interested in housing design and the methodologies and methods of knowledge production at the intersection of architectural design and design policy.