School of Architecture, Graduate

Students: Teng Cai
Meta Brunzema

All citizens – families, groups, or cultures – hope for equal opportunities to succeed, and enjoy their lives. However, as we pursue our goals, we often fight over resources and create conflicts. New York City is certainly one of the densest and most abundant cities in the world – yet we have to be realistic – and understand that a good urban life requires trade-offs and compromises. As urban designers, we can distribute urban resources more equally with smarter design methods. The Wallacei digital design app gives us design tools to minimize an unfair distribution of resources while enhancing diversity and equity. For example, we can design buildings that will fairly distribute the most desirable urban features among the whole community and surrounding area: sunshine, views, circulation, accessibility and different types of public space, etc… Wallacei uses advanced algorithms that can test designs generated by digital code against multiple criteria and fitness objectives. A sophisticated analytic process compares them and selects several preferred options. It is important to know that these design objectives – and their ranking – can be selected by the community itself. The architect can create hundreds of parametric design options and provide choices based on stakeholder selection criteria.

For example, this project resulted not only in equal access to light, air, and views for all of the apartments on the site – but also for the units in surrounding buildings. The design also features an array of mid-sized public spaces that are equally accessible to both existing and new units; thus increasing opportunities for social life, health and economic well-being for all residents.