Hu / Design Method of Low-tech Ecological Rural Settlement in China

Design Method of Low-tech Ecological Rural Settlement in China Qiang Villages as an example (Early Stage of Research)

Author: Dan Hu, Ph.D candidate, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Marco Bovati, Associate Professor, DAStU, Politecnico di Milano

Research stage: initial doctoral stage

Category: Extended abstract

DDR Statement

In my opinion, DDR or design-driven research is a research method that is very suitable for Architectural Design majors.

First of all, this research method can help the researcher discover problems from the design planning process. For example, in the process of rural architectural design and planning, I find the most commonly-seen problem is that China’s rural architectural design and planning has been a symphony of low-end design because of remoteness and poverty. Actually, however, there is a unique historical and cultural background, and architectural wisdom waiting for rural settlement design to explore, study and utilize. This is also the inspiration for my research.

Second, the researcher can learn a lot from the design case by using this research method. Relevant low-tech architecture or planning and design cases are chosen for analysis, and summary of experience, such as design expression through simple drawings, possibility of residents’ self-construction, integration of the concept of “low impact development”, improvement of traditional architectural materials, self-sufficiency of energies, etc.

Third, a large number of cases are adopted as the basis of evaluation. Through post-use evaluation of a series of cases in China, this research collects feedback of low-tech design needs from technical evaluation to collection of opinions from villagers. Besides, I study the research location, in terms of planning, architecture, infrastructures, landscape, etc. Research methods include field survey, questionnaire, and interview.

Through constant design, refining and deepening of knowledge, I come up with conclusions related to new constructions of China’s rural settlements. Meanwhile, relying on collaborative design, I can obtain scientific models and methods. All these research achievements can be demonstrated through hand-painting, physical model, architectural model, etc. Moreover, constant modification can contribute to refining and deepening of knowledge of this field.