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Enabling Bottom-up Practices in Urban and Architectural Design Learning and Increasing Awareness on Social Engagement

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

Today design studio is perceived as central to design learning as a platform to enable the students to learn-by-designing. The studio coordinators and external jury members convey this implicit knowledge through reflective reviews by triggering “knowing-in-action” (Schön, 1987). The students are expected to consider their design alternatives together with the existing social, spatial and political urban context and build relationships between these while redefining them. Unfortunately, these processes rarely include learning from the locals and potential users; especially in the later stages of the design process (Newton and Pak, 2015). On the other hand, recent developments following the financial crisis of the 2007-2008 and the refugee crisis have moved alternative approaches for making urban spaces to the center stage. Since then, there has been a resurgence in the number of do-it-yourself (DIY) cooperatives initiated by citizens, activists, artists, and designers. Everyday people all around the world have started to claim a shaping power over the processes of urbanization; over the ways in which our cities are made and remade (Harvey, 2013, p.5). In literature, these have been given a variety of names such as: “DIY urbanism”, “make-shift urbanism”, “austerity urbanism” (Tonkiss, 2013). These novel bottom-up urban practices produce inspiring methods for social engagement and empowerment which the design schools can learn from and experiment with (Ferguson, 2015), especially for addressing the emergent concerns in an agile manner. However, these are challenging tasks. Reflecting on these challenges, this research aims to rethink the design studio setup to facilitate learning from emergent practices and bottom-up social knowledge building through bottom-up design actions. After an in-depth background review, the potentials of these processes will be scrutinized through two interactive tracks:• Learning from the design approaches behind the bottom-up projects by engaging in real-world practices with real users • Learning from the emergent spatial making processes and the changing role of the architects and urban designers
Pages: 176 - 181
Publication year:2016