Adaptable Futures

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Adaptable Futures

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The Adaptable Futures (AF) research group at Loughborough University unpacks adaptability in detail looking at the complex web of dependencies that induce, hinder, and accommodate change. Adaptability as a design characteristic embodies spatial, structural, and service strategies which allow the physical artifact a level of malleability in response to changing operational parameters over time. While the most common perception of adaptability has brought with it an expensive and characterless connotation, the research presents a more holistic and balanced perspective in an attempt to ameliorate


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The Adaptable Futures (AF) research group at Loughborough University unpacks adaptability in detail looking at the complex web of dependencies that induce, hinder, and accommodate change. Adaptability as a design characteristic embodies spatial, structural, and service strategies which allow the physical artifact a level of malleability in response to changing operational parameters over time. While the most common perception of adaptability has brought with it an expensive and characterless connotation, the research presents a more holistic and balanced perspective in an attempt to ameliorate the stereotypical definition and provide a more tenable and desirable approach.

We ask what can we learn from history – how have buildings been designed for adaptability and how have they been appropriated? As a stakeholder - what strategies, tools, and guidance can you use to supplement your motivations? The instruments provide a finer grain when thinking about adaptability clarifying how different types of change occur over different scales of time and within different layers of the building. The unraveling of change begins to provide insights for imagining plausible scenarios when building for an unpredictable future. Several questions must be considered to thoroughly investigate to what extent they are relevant in the given project and context – allowing different building forms to change in different ways.

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