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1. Rem Koolhaas et al, Elements,
Marsilio (Venice), 2014, back cover.
2. ‘Government Turns to Prefab
Buildings to Save Resources’, China
Daily, 1 October 2016: www.
3. Vanke, 2015 Annual Report:
4. Stewart Brand, How Buildings
Learn: What Happens After They’re
Built, Viking (New York), 1994, p 12.
5. Ibid, pp 12–13.
6. Ibid, p 17.
7. Online Etymology
Dictionary: www.etymonline.
8. Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind
of Science, Wolfram Research
(Champaign, IL), 2002.
Text © 2017 John Wiley &
Sons Ltd. Images: pp 128,
130(b) © Andong Lu; p 129 ©
Liu Dongwei; p 130(t) © Zhu
Jingxiang; p 130(c) © OPEN
Architecture; p 132(t) © Li Biao;
p 132(b) © Zhong Huaying;
p 133 © Dou Pingping
therefore characterised by an intrinsic property of reversibility. On the issue of scalability, though
seemingly similar to the module mindset, it adopts a process more like pattern formation in nature.
Rather than placing subunits in a desired location following a designated sequence or composition,

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