The project explores the spatial implications and possibilities created by radical changes in the nature of production and the relationship between living and working. We propose a rethinking of the slab and column type into a room-based type as an alternative spatial and structural model for the new work-live model of housing.


With maker’s movement, it becomes easier for people with ideas to bring them to production with the help of rapid-prototyping tools, and sell them around the world with online retailers.


Place matters less in both production and distribution with the bottom-up entrepreneurship and distribution innovation. And yet the aggregation effect of people can shorten the value chain of the makers. What can bring the makers together would be an open-ended community, where living, working and leisure are all nestled together in one structural and spatial arrangement.


The current production space is still dominated by the Domino House open-plan structural paradigm which was designed correspondingly to the nature of production mode of that time. With the new production mode, and the new living-working relationship, the space needed is reduced in size. Smaller units of lease with flexibility is favoured rather than the lease of large open plan.


The maker’s community then requires a new invention of room-based structural type, reduced to its bare minimum, but can induce maximum variety of occupation and events. The structure is inhabitable, transforming from points to rooms, or vice versa. One structural system can accommodate the diverse need of the maker industries without additional alter of space.


Four variations out of this concept of structure are developed as rooms. The structure is acting as the spatial device to shape the volumetric space. From bottom to top, the structural cone transforms to define the space between rooms on each floor.


Out of the four, the two dominant types are constituted by live-work modules, which  will construct the main grid of the entire community are founded as rules. And the other two will serve as exceptions. The types of exceptions contain programs of shared facilities, amenities and shared manufacturing facilities.


The two dominant types both have a dual arrangement of co-living and co-working on the two sides. They will serve people who live and work here. The types of exceptions will serve both residents and visitors. The arrangement of the plan seeks to program everything in life: living, working, pleasure in one system of space and structure.


The same concept extends to the urban scale, when the types of urban rooms generated from the four types of architecture are also replicating on a larger territory to create the framework for innovation.


The two sides of the dominant types, co-living and co-working, will constitutes more private urban rooms and the more open ones seperately. Among the more open urban rooms, the two exceptions positioned at the center will again define their characters, either as one with an amenity tower at the center, or one with an extended covered roof.


These four types of urban rooms then constitutes a series of urban experiences, moving alternatively in- between the  enclosed,  the covered, and  the open urban rooms, with different lighting and different activities.


Overall, the types of architecture and the urban rooms are generated through an iterative process, in a way similar to the web architecture, generated by web codes. Each unit within the code follows relatively simple rules defined by code, but all of them together could perform very complex but united activities. There are no central organization or large companies with hundreds of employees, but all bottom-up entrepreneurs work and live in a distributed autonomic organization.  The organization can extend to cover larger territory.  We imagine that this can happen in a few decades, and we see the Singapore woodland site as an examplar of that future.


GSD Optional Studio

The Factory and the City: Rethinking the industrial spaces of the developmental city

Singapore, 2016



Shiqing Liu, Yanchen Liu