bBox: A Framework for Container Settlements

Creative Commons License

Torus B., Şen Bayram A. K., Doma O. O., Şener S. M.

The Paradigmatic City (IV): Transforming Cities, İstanbul, Turkey, 8 - 10 May 2019, pp.15-24

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-24
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


According to The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) data (UNHCR, 2018), the World is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 68.5 million has been forcibly displaced worldwide. Turkey is affected from various reasons for these displacements and hosted one of the largest number of refugees worldwide. Generative tools and approaches provide rapid and design optimized solutions with housing like repetitive functions. Using a base element or a module is also another method for quick implementation. Therefore, shipping containers are used in many projects with the same aim of designing modular with a base design element. With this understanding, the authors with the help of a programmer designed and developed a software called bBox. bBox is designed as a generative designing tool for various designs and uses containers as basic design elements in order to generate design alternatives for different size of sites under the light of different parameters, which are defined by users due to the condition. In bBox, there are two types of parameters, which are used as inputs in this study. First group are the number of users and the number, type of containers and cost. The second group of parameters are the topography data of land (site information), the utility needs and functions (such as housing, healthcare, and education). While generating designs, bBox visualizes the alternatives in 3D digital environment with a game engine (Unity) and calculates each alternative’s approximate cost simultaneously. By creating various designs for the needed functions rapidly with a 3D model, which has also cost estimation module, bBox creates the chance for the decision makers to choose simply and wisely the optimum solution for various needs. This solution can help the people in need with a reasonable cost, without losing time, and without having an impact on the site. It can be argued that these evaluation techniques increase the creativity capacity of designers. But in a world witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record, the new architectural design approaches must be rapid and efficient. In this paper it is proposed to combine the efficient parameters with mass production to find an optimal sustainable site planning solution for sites designed for large amounts. This approach would introduce an effective computational design tool for early design stage of sustainable design.