Living in Community

Diploma project in architecture at the University of Stuttgart about the effect of built space on the social behavior of its users.


Mai bis September 1998. I was pregnant and I wanted to become an architect before I became a mother, so it had to be made in 4 1/2 instead of regularly 6 months for a diploma project.

What was it all about

I was finishing my studies at the university and I had to do a diploma project. I was always more interested in the use of architecture than just in the beautiful pictures of an empty building on a high-gloss magazine.

What was my part

I determined the statement of the task, I decided what to build and how in a real site just outside Stuttgart. I made the whole architectural project and drafted plans (at that point, it must have been the last student not to have used a computer for the diploma project) and made models and prototypes. I did not call it Design Thinking yet, but it was the same process. I made interviews with the fictional users (I used neighbors and relatives to let them think if I built a house for you in this project, what would you need at home, what place would you need for your activities at home) and used 'The Pattern Language' of Christopher Alexander to check the effect of the design decisions.


User centered designLiving in communityIterative design processDesign of living spacesArchitectureDistribution of uses and spaces

Paper, pencil and drafting toolsMaterials for modeling

What I learned

User-centered design, 'A Patern Language' from Christopher Alexander, staying focused.

What I liked the most

How good I managed the time I had for it, subordinating every decision to the time and effort constraints.

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