1st Edition

Flexibility and Design Learning from the School Construction Systems Development (SCSD) Project

By Joshua D. Lee Copyright 2019
    200 Pages
    by Routledge

    200 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book questions flexibility as a design approach by providing a longitudinal analysis of an innovative architectural experiment called the School Construction Systems Development (SCSD) project. The SCSD pioneered the use of performance specifications to create an open, prefabricated, and integrated system of building components that provided four modes of flexibility. Educational facilities throughout California used the SCSD system and it spawned a variety of similar projects throughout North America. This book traces the development and subsequent use of the system over 50 years through archival research, personal observations, re-photography, re-surveying, plan evaluations, interviews, and an advertisement analysis. These new findings provide useful insights for architects, educators, historic preservationists, and others about the affordances of spatial flexibility, the difficulties associated with technological transfer, the impact of unstable market conditions, the importance of user input during the planning process, and the need for long-term social relations to sustain architectural experiments.

    1. The Problem of Change.  2. Flexible Schools and the SCSD.  3. The SCSD Revisited.  4.  Post-SCSD Flexible Learning Environments.  5. From Flexible Hybrids to Protean Systems.  Index.


    Joshua D. Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture. His research interests include sustainable design, adaptable architecture, systems-based architecture, public interest design, post-occupancy evaluation, educational facilities, and qualitative and computational analysis of architectural language. He completed his Ph.D. in Architecture, Master of Architecture, and Master of Sustainable Design at the University of Texas at Austin. He also served as a Lecturer and Assistant Director of the Restoration Institute at Clemson University and as a licensed architect has worked at SOM-NY, SHW Group/Stantec-Austin, and Davis Wince designing educational facilities and a wide array of other project types. He currently also heads the Protean Design Collaborative, a non-profit design consultancy currently focused on sustainable, self-sufficient housing. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Bridget, and his two children, Tivon and Kaia Pax.