Village Maker Beta

For centuries, the fabric of East Asian cities has been formed by urban villages that are built up of small scale, informal, often ‘light’ architecture: the hutongs in Beijing, the small – mostly wooden – houses in Tokyo, the villages in Singapore, the kampungs in Jakarta, as well the individual houses and rooftop-extensions in Taipei.
These urban villages form intense, socially connected communities where strong individual identities and differences are maintained. Because they are, and have been, inhabited mostly by the poor, land is cheap – and therefore, change comes easily. . .

Driven by demographic and economic forces since the start of the second millennium, these cities are rapidly changing. In a relentless ‘Block Attack’, massive towers, slabs and blocks with repetitive housing units, floor plans and façades are invading – scraping away the urban villages that have evolved over hundreds of years. These alien buildings provide a Western standard of living, destroying indigenous communities in the process.
They obstruct urban innovation and discourage differentiation, flexibility and individual ideas. Is there a better way to develop these areas? Could we densify them without sacrificing the informality of the urban village? Could we even apply the principles of informality to generate new neighbourhoods? What if we could grow urban villages vertically, as an alternative to the monotonous sea of blocks? [from: Vertical Village Book]

DAP3 developed The VillageMaker© in close collaboration with the team of MVRDV and TheWhyFactory. All knowledge of parameters, relations and rules are brought together in the VillageMaker©, an open-source software program that allows future inhabitants to collectively develop a vertical village in an evolutionary way. The program is a tool for supervision and a platform for negotiation, without the need for a masterplan or the involvement of urban planners. The VillageMaker© is connected to the HouseMaker©, which, after defining one’s dream house, enables one to select a dream location.

The VillageMaker© is a fully interactive, scripted Rhinoceros Grasshopper model, with a userfriendly interface that directly transforms desires into a 3D model of a village. After setting usercriteria for sunlight, view, privacy and preferred area, the program shows where the house could be built, and specifies the associated costs. With the help of the VillageMaker©, Vertical Villages can be initiated, tested and gradually developed to become a dynamic part of future Asian urban development.

See the The VillageMaker© in action:

The Definition

Cover image by MVRDV