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Open Access From 'live projects' to 'lived-in' environments: learning from six decades of re-design in Tema Manhean, Ghana

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Aligned with approaches that push the boundary of live projects beyond the live build only, this paper presents an action-learning initiative in Ghana in a site forged by modernist practitioners under colonialism. The notion of lived-in architecture is relied upon to apprehend how inhabitants re-shape and fabricate their dwelling environments. Using an inter-disciplinary methodology to map such contributions, students are exposed to the importance of voicing communities' tacit knowledge. The analysis stresses the dialectic relationship between architectural artefacts and user-based transformations. Through intensive fieldwork, students gain insight on the capacity of self-builders and on the value of designed spaces that encourage dwellers' appropriation. As part of the process participants reflect on their positionality as spatial practitioners and on the relevance of documenting re-design for the emergence of alternative urban imaginations.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2015

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