Gotti / Spatial practices for empowerment

Spatial practices for empowerment

Author: Francesca Gotti, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Francesco Careri, Roma Tre University; Francesca Lanz, Northumbria University; University of Lincoln

Research stage: PhD intermediate stage

Category: Extended abstract

DDR Statement

The importance and role of Design Driven research

The research moves from previous observations and collection of realised case studies, that rise questions concerning design processes and designers responsibilities, and that because of their characteristics are framed in the debate on critical spatial practices. Projects are the ignition for the research, and as well the testing ground for further considerations.

The case studies are analysed through a comparative structure, using the same parameters and the same visual representation. The graphic apparatus, complementary to the texts rather than accessory, seeks to interpretate: the strictly architectural characteristics of the interventions (material and spatial outcome of the process); the network of actors involved (how they are related to each others and to the project); the media dimension of the interventions (how they are perceived by public); and the processual dimension (how all the aspects come together throughout the development of the project).

Finally, the research explores methods for assessing the effective success and impact of these projects on the communities and areas in which they are located. Post-occupancy usually applies qualitative and quantitative techniques and refers to the evaluation of buildings’ performance, and their effect on productivity and well-being (Preiser, 2015). This investigation aims specifically at testing methods of evaluation of the projects analysed with respect to the empowerment of the users. The initial design intentions are confronted with the final built outcomes, and with the modifications enacted by the users after the completion of the project, as a result of the dynamics of self-management and appropriation.