As part of the London Architectural Festival, I visited a group called You Can Plan, who is attempting a new approach to self-building an affordable home, in a higher density, sustainable setting. They are employing a process call Enabled Self Procurement, which offers an interesting intersection between choice and control.
While the self-build or self procured market in
Their approach is to bring the design and delivery of the home to the individual, and taking care of the many components that most people don’t have the knowledge, patience, or care to deal with. These include building codes, planning permission, ordering materials, and even doing the building themselves. One way they have envisioned bringing higher quality design to such communities is by following the principle of the pattern book, which is firmly established in
These ten pattern book designs are then incorporated into a 3-D planning software that allows users to not only pick their plot, but also their home, and its variations. Since all the pattern book designs have already met planning and building code approval, it is almost like you just plug in your home. The software is very easy to use (download it here) and offering numerous ways to explore your future community in process. The beauty about it is that you could actually be planning your home while your neighbors are as well, thereby being able to see design decisions made in real time. The actual urban design and master plan of the community will have already been established. While not everyone would want to engage in such a process, it seems like such a process could be extended to the overall design of the whole community.
Since there is so little on which to build in
Would such a process work in the