LITH: A Decentralized Publicly Owned Platform to Solve Housing Problems in Gentrification Neighborhood: Introducing Young But Talented Architect, Razan Jawad
Have you ever thought about what ArchViz can do other than illustrating buildings built or unbuilt? Razan Jaward, a graduate from The Bartlett School of Architecture, ULC, created her graduation project -- LITH.
LITH © Razan Jawad
LITH is a decentralized publicly owned platform for space sharing enabled by a localized fused deposition modelling printing farm, it is aimed towards decommodification of gentrified neighborhoods and to provide affordable long-term homes for at-risk members of the community and to provide a platform to artists and artisan being displaced due to gentrification. It’s more than a regular ArchViz artwork, but a solution towards housing problems that bother numerous artists and people in many communities, showing the social conscience of the creator.
The explanation of LITH
Razan, with LITH, was also nominated in the Student (FILM) category of the 2020 CGarchitect 3D Awards, which was sponsored by Fox Renderfarm, a top-notch cloud rendering solution provider. For more creative details and ideas behind, please enjoy our interview.
- Razan Jawad
- From: Republic of Lebanon
Fox Renderfarm: Could you give us a brief introduction about yourself?
Razan: My name is Razan Jawad, I’m originally Lebanese, born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium. I’ve been passionate about architecture from the age of 15 and it has only increased as I have grown.
I have worked in Lebanon and Belgium as an Intern and an Assistant Architect. At the age of 19, I had just finished from the Architectural High school in Antwerp and thus, my life as an architect began, designing stores within the new center that was being built in Centro Ovale Chiasso, at the Swiss Italian border. 70% of my proposed design integration for the H&M and Apple stores were adopted by the clients.
Centro Ovale Chiasso
After moving to Lebanon, my determination, learnings and previous work experience landed me on several job opportunities as an Assistant Architect which was done in parallel to my university education. In June 2018 I graduated from ALBA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture and to further enhance my studies I attended UCL in London where I completed my master’s degree in architectural design.
Being a freelance architect, I’m currently working on three different projects that are based in Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Congo which led me to open up a startup studio. The project in Lebanon is a residential villa for a private client and the 2 projects in Africa are huge commercial projects.
Fox Renderfarm: How do you feel about being nominated for the CGarchitect Architectural 3D Awards?
Razan: It feels great to get recognition for the amount of hard work that goes into realizing any architectural project academic or otherwise.
Fox Renderfarm: What inspired you to create the amazing project? Any ideas behind the name “LITH”?
Razan: LITH is the culmination of a year of architectural research, It is a amalgamation of philosophies of discrete architecture (a digital combinatorial design theory by Gilles Retsin), a mix of neo-Brutalism and gothic inspirations backed with social theories for cohousing communities.
| Gilles Retsin
Discrete: Reappraising the Digital in Architecture by Gilles Retsin
Fox Renderfarm: Could you introduce the core idea of the film and what kind of concepts do you want to convey through it? The building you design in the film is unique and futuristic, could you introduce the function of it and how you create it?
Razan: The buildings in the film are actually a system of buildings rather than an individual building. It is a platform enabled co-housing community.
LITH stems from the idea that housing is a fundamental human right, while ownership of property is not. Along with the housing crisis, Gentrification adversely affects at-risk communities in neighborhoods. In Hackney, which hosts one of the largest artistic communities in the United Kingdom, artists and residents now face the same issues as many of the flats, and warehouse studios they inhabit have become too expensive for them, to continue to live and work there.
LITH is a decentralized publicly owned platform for space sharing enabled by a localized fused deposition modelling printing farm, it is aimed towards decommodification of gentrified neighborhoods and to provide affordable long-term homes for at-risk members of the community and to provide a platform to artists and artisan being displaced due to gentrification.
The automated LITH printing farm works tirelessly around the clock for the production of serialized 3D printed formworks which can be cast incrementally to generate architectural structures. The printing factory continues to be an integral part of the LITH ecosystem after the construction process, and residents and artists can access the 3D printing farm to produce furniture, goods and art.
The LITH platform can respond to a variety of typologies depending upon the urban conditions, user requirements and varying design briefs. The same localized LITH printing farm can generate various housing communities within a neighborhood. Each housing can have an entirely different underlying functional program and spatial configuration. The generations also respond flexibly to any 3-dimensional boundary constraints.
Within LITH, spaces are divided as shared, semi-shared and private. Where semi-shared spaces are shared by residents of the housing, while shared spaces can be utilized by other members of the community as well. Residents and artists can access these shared spaces by booking them through the LITH space sharing platform. Light-based visual cues let the users know if a space is available, being utilized or can be shared. Large public lofts function as shared spaces, which can be utilized by local artists as studio spaces and workshops. The artist can either purchase a subscription to these spaces or occupy them by booking them through the LITH platform.
Fox Renderfarm: How long did it take you to finish the film?
Razan: The whole project was a culmination of a year long research into 3D Printing, platform based generative architecture, algorithmic design and discrete architecture. The movie itself took over 2 months to make from the initial storyboard to the modelling of the actual building and then the final render.
Fox Renderfarm: In this project, what software and plugins did you use? And do you use any new creative approaches to make the project better?
Razan: The generation of the building geometry is a combination of rhino3d + grasshopper and Unity + C# algorithms. The animation was carried out entirely on 3ds Max and rendered with V-Ray.
Fox Renderfarm: How long have you been in the architectural visualization career? Could you share with us your education and career experience?
Razan: Being at UCL was a life changer especially having conducted a bachelor’s degree in the Middle East to the “Western Content” from constant learning of new software to fabrication. During my whole architecture degree using 3d visualization was always part of my academic work, but my experience at The Bartlett encouraged me to explore newer software, whereby I was fortunate enough to have an amazing instructor who encouraged me to apply to the 3D Awards at CGarchitects.
Fox Renderfarm: As an outstanding young architect, what do you do to enhance your professional skills?
Razan: I make sure I’m up to date with the digital world by watching lectures and documentaries about new architectural technologies.
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