Extract from the book Why Density? Debunking the myth of the cubic watermelon
April 22, 2015
"What is density? This is a very simple question at first sight that makes us wonder about it for years.
Before trying to answer this question, let’s see what density is not. Very often, when
you hear about density and city you associate with images from Hong Kong or Benidorm, the hyperdense city, –with skyscrapers put together and small apartments inside.
It reminds us of the story of the cubic watermelon. Around the 80s, a farmer, on the island of Shikoku, south of Japan came up with the idea of making a cubeshaped watermelon which could easily be packed and stored.
He created a cubic mould, where each seed would grow adopting a cubic form. The result was a wonderful cubic watermelon, which remained stable and was easier to store, pack and ship.
You can do this with watermelons, but you can’t do it with buildings. Density has nothing to do with the volumetric exploitation of the city. It is not a question of fitting in as many homes as possible.
It is not a question of reducing voids. If you do that with buildings, it won’t be for the sake of density, it will be for the sake of speculation and the result will be slums, as history has proved already." a+t research group
Text extracted from the chapter What is density? And what is speculation published in Why Density?