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Title: Just design : a US-UK comparative study of community design in the field of affordable housing provision
Author: Hardy, F. G.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 1999
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The overall objective of this dissertation is to explore the implementation of Iris Young's notion of a politics of difference in the field of affordable housing design carrying out comparative work between the United States of America (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) (Young 1990). The focus of the dissertation rests upon the case study of the US and the UK community design movements. Community design is a term used to describe the loose coalition of design professionals who, since the 1960's, have sought: firstly, to reflect upon the social construction of their own powerful professions (principally architecture, landscape architecture and planning); and, secondly, to plan for and engineer radical ways of empowering marginalised individuals and social groups so they are able to influence the design and subsequent consumption of the built environment. To achieve this aim, the dissertation begins by developing an historical, comparative study of the US and UK community design movements in order to explore recurring dilemmas that have confronted practitioners. Out of these messy histories three sets of core issues are identified. The first recounts the tension between the design professional's dependence upon wider institutional frames for legitimation of their expert status and for material support, and their desire to act autonomously or in opposition to such enduring frames. The second set revolves around the idea of communities participating in complex decision making processes and questions include: who is the community; what are the practical logistics of large group discussion; and how is it possible to discern between competing claims? The third set of issues relates to the persistent problem of implementing radical programmes for progressive social change in the face of extremely complex urban social problems. These questions arising from the comparative historical review are then used to inform a critical analysis of current initiatives presented as promoting community design in this particular field at both national and local scales. Case studies from the US San Francisco Bay Area and from the UK Liverpool Merseyside Area are then examined in order to uncover the political dynamics of particular participatory design projects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available