Bound Volume Number

Volume I

Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-2016

Capstone Advisor

Brian Lonsway

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component



informal settlement growth

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories



The position of the architect when designing is to arbitrate which information is relevant and which is not, and to do so across a broad spectrum of fields. Considering this, Christopher Alexander claimed as long ago as 1964, that “design problems are reaching insoluble levels of complexity.” This thesis focuses on informal settlement growth and how architects can investigate growth as a part of master-planning new housing. Drawing on case studies of settlements, video game logics, and existing architectural tools, a tool was developed to study the growth of settlements. This tool is based on cellular automata, a spatial and algorithmic method of computer modeling based on specific rules. The rules themselves have been developed to model settlement growth from both single house and neighborhood level as accurately as possible. The final result is a visual representation of hypothetical additions to homes over a period of time. The information produced can be used by architects to more wholistically understand planning effects on settlement growth, and then to plan settlements with that informal growth in mind.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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Architecture Commons



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