How might agile work in architecture?


Thinking and reading about how the agile methodology might completely change architectural design? Could the buildings of the future be based on direct feedback? Can they be designed initially so that they can scale as communities grow and change? Let’s set aside regulations for the moment, and hypothesize about the future.

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I absolutely love this topic.

  • With current advances in 3-d printing, we could design and build in rapid cycles.


Absolutely. And related to that, starting with a house, let’s say, building the basics and adding these in cycles as needed.


From my experience as a home owner, and curious observer of urban structure demolitions: I am thinking of the way many buildings are constructed (vs how we build software).

It seems many building elements are joined in ways that cause destruction upon de-coupling: glue, lamination, poured elements, nails, custom and jerry-rigged structures. These feel like one-time-use solutions for builders - that hamper re-factorers. Deconstructing turns into destroying the materials themselves.

If construction were planned as reversible and components as modular or salvageable, this might feel like something we could compare to architecture of software using (for example) o-o design principles. Bu I’m definitely speaking ad a layperson here.

I have to wonder what Christopher Alexander said about designing for re-use? My software history suggests this would be over-engineering. Since you do not know what you’d want to re-use, everything would need to be more generic, or more loosely coupled, just in case.

Maybe it actually is cheaper to destroy and rebuild? But then it would be important that destroyed material cause no ecological harm. Maybe it could even have ecological benefit, rather than just dumping… thinking of building structures to support wildlife, biomes, coral reef development, for example…

Well, that was an interesting side-journey for me. Perhaps it sparks a useful thought for someone…

Be well!


What is waste from 3d printing like for the environment?


Interesting question - what is the waste.

I suppose one would need to look at the full life cycle of the system.

3D printing itself, as I understanding it, produces little waste.
Once what has been made no longer serves it purpose, I wonder if it could be recycled back into the raw material to print from?


The Loblolly house by Kieran Timberlake was designed to be a house that you could scale and could also dismantle with minimal waste. I’d love to build something similar but the costs are high.


I have see scrum work in construction. Subs like plummers, HVAC, electrical and review plans with each other so the can all be there at once and out of each other’s way in a stand up. You can show case room layout using plastic sheeting prior to sheet rock so if you need to move a wall your not tearing down drywall and making waste


8 years ago, I saw this video:

The way the building is constructed, using modules like at, may enable easy deconstruction or refactoring. That’s exciting!

Currently, architectural design and construction presumes that the cost of change is high. But what if a building can be refactored with relative ease? What if a building can be disassembled cheaply? Such technology will enable a city to adapt rapidly as a population changes.


Great article [User experience design vs. Architecture
Part 1: Agile in Architecture]

Discusses idea of constructing spaces that are user centered, can be modified easily depending on the demographic, individual and larger areas, such as cities.