Brazilian low cost housing : interactions and conflicts between residents and dwellings
In order to improve the general quality of low-cost housing in Brazil, a research project was conducted to identify the existing conflicts in the interactions between residents and dwellings. The conceptual framework is that architectural spaces have their origin in the interactive process occurring between social forms and physical forms. Whenever architectural situations do not match cultural patterns, conflicts are likely to arise between performers and objects and spaces. Conflicts can be provoked by architectural elements that either have not been provided or are inadequate. Performing his activities, man endows spaces with significance. Thus, architectural spaces are always meaningful and can be approached as a text to be read, decoded and interpreted. A fieldwork study was conducted to survey about 175 low cost houses in &10 Horizonte, Brazil, by READING SPACES in order to identify existing conflicts. The fieldwork methodology consisted of a SYSTEMATICOBSERVATIONof the interactions between residents and houses, describing them by means of architectural tools: annotated sketches, pictures and reports on people's comments. Nineteen conflicts have been identified, characterised and analysed in comparison to the vernacular architecture and technical literature. The conclusions may constitute_a theoretical guide-line for further projects of a similar context.