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Rhodo Workhome: Rethinking the post-pandemic residence. A symbiosis of living and creating organic materials

Marie Roels



This architectural research thesis explores how we can rethink and recondition the way we use our homes in reaction to the spatial and social loopholes that are being uncovered during the worldwide pandemic. This research defines the problems and needs that arise within this extreme situation that we are finding ourselves in. Due to the lockdown we are obliged to work, create, relax and exercise from home, activities that we often carried out away from home. This thesis rethinks the way we live to create a more flexible home, designed for a more intensive and varied use. The main activities which are investigated are the combination of working and living, hence the title Workhome. This Workhome has a strong environmental conscious attitude and has ‘the act of creating and growing materials from a recovered plant species’ as an added value to working and living. The species that will be recovered into bio-based products is the Rhododendron Ponticum, an exotic species invading Belgian forests, hence the title Rhodo Workhome. This thesis investigates how a process of making can be combined with working and living. Different phases in a manufacturing process will need different spaces and conditions and simultaneous to these changing situations, the workhomes will transform accordingly. In this way, the workhomes will not only be adaptable to the needs of its residents but also to the needs of nature and a manufacturing process, resulting in a flexible and vibrant home. As a consequence, these natural agents will twist the daily routines of its residents, and create a new and healthy rhythm of living.

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