Harvard University - GSD (Quilian)



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    social design practice

    Quilian Riano
    Dec 10, '07 5:14 PM EST

    My group and I just finished our project for my final pro-practice course "A New Framework for Practice" with Paul Nakazawa.

    As I mentioned before we chose to look at the pressures that slums are putting on the built environment across the world and how architects can best expand the current practice paradigm to work there. Our conclusion is that there are no set paths to work in the many different slums around the world, instead what is needed is a platform where designers can gather, categorize, analyze, and easily share information of projects going on in slums. We then spent some time designing just such a platform using a series of quadrants (see image below) and categories we created using observations from current projects and slums as documented by the UN. The final goal is to turn the chart into an interactive website where you can access it at any quadrant and gather the necessary information on any slum, project, governmental organization, financial institution, etc... you may be interested in.

    Anyway, although the class is over we are still working on some aspects, I wanted to share the blog we created to follow the process that we went through over the semester.

    Social Design Practice team:
    Dan Spiegel, Ryan Wampler, Julia Watson, Noel Murphy, Josh Dannenberg, Q


    • Q,
      Nice grid,

      Be interesting to see how it takes shape in website form.

      Dec 11, 07 8:13 am  · 

      is slum the right word to use when attempting to promote some positive, optimistic thoughts about the area? i feel it's like calling a homeless person a hobo or bum.

      Dec 11, 07 8:55 am  · 

      thanks nama

      danny, i think i disagree with you. Although the word slum may have bad cognations it is the word that is used most often by the UN and other bodies to describe these places.

      UN-HABITAT defines a slum as a heavily populated urban area characterised by substandard housing and squalor...and lacking in tenure security.

      calling someone a hobo or bum is meant to insult, slum is just the name most easily understood.

      Dec 11, 07 10:12 am  · 

      i am already lost inside of very fascinating study. so much information is scratched that i feel many ideas can be generated from them towards a more housed urban poor. can we look towards a recommendations type of epilogue?
      another question;
      can the slums be studied as an upstart housing solution (as one full legitamate model)? or, they are something already started physically and improved, by our endless desires to make things better without really finding out what is going on aka romancing the favela or gecekondu?
      thanks for sharing this quilian, very useful seminar and approach indeed.

      Dec 11, 07 5:55 pm  · 

      it's also possible to think about slum as part of a set of words used by people in power to control specific areas and neighborhoods. like blight. sometimes it's helpful -- to direct aid and attention -- but sometimes it's so they can allow themselves to tear it down.

      the authors of this website
      recently talked at a couple of planning and sociology schools in nyc about comparisons between "slums" in mumbai and tokyo and how they can possibly be considered useful new (or at least distinct) models of urban live-work life.

      Dec 13, 07 2:02 pm  · 

      q- great study!!!!

      so do you and your classmates want to be part of my GB 2008 megacities panel too?

      Dec 17, 07 6:43 pm  · 

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