Home Reconfigured: Adaptability as a solution in Mumbai to help people stay in place
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With the continuously rising employment, businesses, investments, and consequently migration, the housing prices of Mumbai have skyrocketed over the past few decades. The house bought on a mortgage, or rented at cheap rates back in the day, is passed down for generations to grow into due to the inability to afford/shift in a new home. This leads to people compromising on their needs, in a rigid home, throughout their life. We need a solution to allow the residents to take agency over the design of their apartments while still maintaining the benefits of typical housing. The research, therefore, questions how can our existing housing typologies undergo adjustment as people’s lives change? Can we design mass housing apartments in dense urban cities, like Mumbai, India, that provides the residents' autonomy over their spatial layouts? What are the ways people can change the spatial layout of their apartments to better suit their changing requirements and expectations? To incorporate the multifunctionality, adaptability theories present in the housing industry are researched to help incorporate time as a design variable and help people stay in place. A lot of research has been done individually for different adaptable elements and systems in a residential building like open building plans, movable partitions, home kits, and incremental housing, but previous work has failed to address an approach that combines the advantages of each and apply the system in the cultural context of Mumbai. To achieve this goal, the thesis investigates the opportunity of providing a better home for the residents by reimagining a new typology that changes with time and supports the residents’ ability to stay in place without making the building redundant in the future years. Residents of housing development in Mumbai are interviewed to understand the problems they face while living in a standardized apartment. These findings, combined with the present theories and case studies, are used to design an apartment prototype with a new adaptable system that provides residents agency over their space and configure the spatial layout that works best for them. This thesis helps in reducing the rigidness of a housing design while also giving the residents' decision-making power in the design of their homes and allows them to stay in place comfortably.
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Nupur Garg (2021). Home Reconfigured: Adaptability as a solution in Mumbai to help people stay in place. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17392