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By : Alessandra De Cesaris and Domizia Mandolesi

The home is the place where the intimacy of living is manifested and where relationships with the outside world are formed. The truest sense of domestic space is expressed in the opposition between the interior dimension and collective aspirations. A society’s needs and aspirations are reflected in the transformations of the dwelling, the city’s basic unit and constituent element. The history of the dwelling can be read as the history of the relationship between the desire for the self-representation of an interior world and the desire for identification and recognition within a community. These considerations lie at the heart the research conducted by HousingLab - DiAP - Sapienza of Rome with the goal of developing low-cost residential projects that can be customized and tailored to individual needs. To meet the demands of a large and heterogeneous public, these projects must refer to industrial processes for the manufacturing of mass-produced goods. But how is it possible to reconcile industrialization and mass production with the need for individual expression or with the desire to freely give form to a home, modify it, and define its character according to individual tastes and its physical context? The goal is to create a catalogue of a system of a limited number of easy-to-assemble, standardized and prefabricated components that can generate controlled, but extremely varied and flexible, configurations of domestic space in order to accommodate different needs in relationship to individual taste and different locations. This article will present a series of projects designed by HousingLab - DiAP - Sapienza of Rome highlighting the relationship between architectural quality, energy use, environmental and economic sustainability, and innovation.
Keywords: Customisation, Housing, Quality Production, User Participation, Sustainable Development, Prefabrication.

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