Housing flexibility in terms of changes, opportunities, and sustainability of goals and values

Özinal D., Erman O.

Journal of Design for Resilience in Architecture and Planning, vol.2, no.2, pp.187-205, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Flexible design in architecture is the ability of buildings to adapt to changing situations in their use, functioning, or context. The ability of the users to change the space and control it according to their requirements and demands is the strongest aspect of flexible design. Flexible design, integrated into design practice with modern architecture, plays a key role in the solution of many design problems. This study, which focuses on housing flexibility, aims to determine the demands of the users regarding the flexible use of housing and to understand the internal dynamics of the process that determine the housing flexibility in this context. Within the scope of the study, it is thought that the housing flexibility is formed by evaluating the changing demands of the users within the framework of the sustainability of the goals and values and realizing them according to the existing capabilities. This process has been attempted to be conceptualized by defining it with sub-elements belonging to three components that are involved in the process defined as change, goals-values, opportunities. In the conceptual model, at the first stage, sustainability works as a control mechanism to ensure the realization of change demands arising from various factors. While sustainability checks the suitability and validity of the demands, the opportunities organize these demands to be accomplished. According to the model, the goals and values must be suitable for sustainability to the demands for change to be realized. However, to realize the demands and achieve a flexible solution, the existing opportunities must be suitable. Within the scope of the conceptual model, the effect of the process components on housing flexibility is attempted to be determined through questioning the flexibility demands of the users. In line with these aims, a questionnaire survey was conducted. 450 subjects were reached via email and 322 of them replied. The findings of the study allowed us to understand that the expectations of the users in terms of the demands, goals, and values, sustainability, and opportunities regarding the change in providing housing flexibility. The results point out that the users demand flexible housing, which enables spaces enlarged and narrowed or divided and combined. In this context, it has been determined that the flexibility of the spaces should provide long-term use in accordance with the lifestyle within the scope of goals and values. For this purpose, the necessity of technological opportunities that provide modification of spaces is understood.