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The informal city and the future of our cities: towards a manifesto

The informal city and the future of our cities: towards a manifesto The New Urban Agenda has catalyzed discussion across academia and practice on how to responsibly position ourselves as key players in the making of the future of our cities. With questions such as what is the right to the city? Who has those rights? What is a city? What is formal and who defines informal? These questions may prompt a need for departure from, or at least a reconsideration of the narrative surrounding formal and informal urbanism. This paper presents a pedagogical approach to addressing these and other questions within the framework of the new agenda. It reviews pedagogical approaches to understanding and learning to design within an informal context. It also foregrounds the process with the theoretical framing of Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language and Timeless way of Building as lenses through which to understand and identify common languages and intersections across the global spectrum of representations of informal urbanism. It then outlines the resultant process and products of a one-week intensive master-class and design charette of international scholars and students focusing on the Informal City.Design/methodology/approachIt reviews pedagogical approaches to understanding and learning to design within an informal context. It also foregrounds the process with the theoretical framing of Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language and Timeless way of Building as lenses through which to understand and identify common languages and intersections across the global spectrum of representations of informal urbanism. It then outlines the resultant process and products of a one-week intensive master-class and design charette of international scholars and students focusing on the Informal City.FindingsThe paper conclusively presents new nomenclature for informality that strives to shift the semantic lens from its current negative connotations to more productive, proactive and positive ones. It also presents an Informal City Manifesto, a call to arms of theoretical framing of how we think about the formal informal divide.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper, in part, outlines the results of a single studio with a small student number. Although diverse in its composition the student body is small.Originality/valueThis new framing could potentially allow us to best leverage lessons and mitigate challenges of the informal city condition, as our human settlements continue to urbanize. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research Emerald Publishing

The informal city and the future of our cities: towards a manifesto

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References (19)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2631-6862
DOI
10.1108/arch-04-2020-0063
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The New Urban Agenda has catalyzed discussion across academia and practice on how to responsibly position ourselves as key players in the making of the future of our cities. With questions such as what is the right to the city? Who has those rights? What is a city? What is formal and who defines informal? These questions may prompt a need for departure from, or at least a reconsideration of the narrative surrounding formal and informal urbanism. This paper presents a pedagogical approach to addressing these and other questions within the framework of the new agenda. It reviews pedagogical approaches to understanding and learning to design within an informal context. It also foregrounds the process with the theoretical framing of Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language and Timeless way of Building as lenses through which to understand and identify common languages and intersections across the global spectrum of representations of informal urbanism. It then outlines the resultant process and products of a one-week intensive master-class and design charette of international scholars and students focusing on the Informal City.Design/methodology/approachIt reviews pedagogical approaches to understanding and learning to design within an informal context. It also foregrounds the process with the theoretical framing of Christopher Alexander's Pattern Language and Timeless way of Building as lenses through which to understand and identify common languages and intersections across the global spectrum of representations of informal urbanism. It then outlines the resultant process and products of a one-week intensive master-class and design charette of international scholars and students focusing on the Informal City.FindingsThe paper conclusively presents new nomenclature for informality that strives to shift the semantic lens from its current negative connotations to more productive, proactive and positive ones. It also presents an Informal City Manifesto, a call to arms of theoretical framing of how we think about the formal informal divide.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper, in part, outlines the results of a single studio with a small student number. Although diverse in its composition the student body is small.Originality/valueThis new framing could potentially allow us to best leverage lessons and mitigate challenges of the informal city condition, as our human settlements continue to urbanize.

Journal

Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural ResearchEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 23, 2021

Keywords: Design studio; Informal urbanism; Manifesto

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