Summary From the modernist period until now, architects and planners have moved toward the design processes according to functionally oriented superimposed approaches. The current failure in terms of urban and architectural conditions, especially considering peripheries within EU and US contexts, is mainly due to the rigid and fixed character of the “functional city” or “Ford Society” city of the 20th century. As an opposite, a ‘Learning from informality’ approach is suggested in this paper. Starting from a research and analysis from the current of the state of art on informal settings and developments, it is possible to drive conclusions upon instruments that can be used and applied to rehabilitate our cities and suburbs. Flexible and adaptable systems can better transform and evolve together with the changes of the society that lives the urban spaces everyday and “New forms of social awareness that emerge from slum collectives will be the germs of the future and the best hope for a properly ‘free world’” [1]. Informal and formal should become a combined way of designing a sustainable vision for the future, where urban dwellers can actively modify and transform their environment. Looking at the developing countries, we can find many research fields and cases to study informality in architecture in its various forms of “self-expression”. The contrast between these areas of the world and the over-planned environment of Europe or America is significant to understand the current relationship between architects and users; it’s time for bridging the gaps between architectural design and social studies. Informal architecture conceived as an “architecture without architects” [2] should become the starting point to change our approach to the design process into a bottom-up model engaged by many rather than an imposed series of esthetic and supposedly functional choices made by few. Moreover, it is important to engage an increasing number of policies to support also informal economy initiatives that could lead to a progressive and active participation of a broader group of actors in the building process. The so-called participative approach has shown its limitation and restrictions when applied in real practice. Through an analysis of different research case studies worldwide, the paper set a series of principles and tools to be used as guide-lines in current development to help professionals, architects and planners in their role of helping inhabitants to become architects themselves, in a socio-oriented approach for a sustainable future. In short, learning from informality to achieve a formally sustainable built environment is the operative suggestion of this research work.

A 'LEARNING FROM INFORMALITY' APPROACH FOR SOCIO-ORIENTED AND SUSTAINABLE BUILT ENVIRONMENTS

CATTANI, ELENA;FERRANTE, ANNARITA;BOIARDI, LUCA
2012

Abstract

Summary From the modernist period until now, architects and planners have moved toward the design processes according to functionally oriented superimposed approaches. The current failure in terms of urban and architectural conditions, especially considering peripheries within EU and US contexts, is mainly due to the rigid and fixed character of the “functional city” or “Ford Society” city of the 20th century. As an opposite, a ‘Learning from informality’ approach is suggested in this paper. Starting from a research and analysis from the current of the state of art on informal settings and developments, it is possible to drive conclusions upon instruments that can be used and applied to rehabilitate our cities and suburbs. Flexible and adaptable systems can better transform and evolve together with the changes of the society that lives the urban spaces everyday and “New forms of social awareness that emerge from slum collectives will be the germs of the future and the best hope for a properly ‘free world’” [1]. Informal and formal should become a combined way of designing a sustainable vision for the future, where urban dwellers can actively modify and transform their environment. Looking at the developing countries, we can find many research fields and cases to study informality in architecture in its various forms of “self-expression”. The contrast between these areas of the world and the over-planned environment of Europe or America is significant to understand the current relationship between architects and users; it’s time for bridging the gaps between architectural design and social studies. Informal architecture conceived as an “architecture without architects” [2] should become the starting point to change our approach to the design process into a bottom-up model engaged by many rather than an imposed series of esthetic and supposedly functional choices made by few. Moreover, it is important to engage an increasing number of policies to support also informal economy initiatives that could lead to a progressive and active participation of a broader group of actors in the building process. The so-called participative approach has shown its limitation and restrictions when applied in real practice. Through an analysis of different research case studies worldwide, the paper set a series of principles and tools to be used as guide-lines in current development to help professionals, architects and planners in their role of helping inhabitants to become architects themselves, in a socio-oriented approach for a sustainable future. In short, learning from informality to achieve a formally sustainable built environment is the operative suggestion of this research work.
SASBE: Smart And Sustainable Built Environments_ EMERGING ECONOMIES
147
154
E. Cattani; A. Ferrante; L. Boiardi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/129760
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