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Open Access From first-aid to second thoughts: design teaching views on informal neighborhoods

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Informal neighborhoods are home for a substantial and still growing part of the population of large urban centers in the so-called 'Global South.' A few decades ago, this issue was considered as a marginal subject in architecture schools, but it has now become more central to design studio culture worldwide. Drawing from a decade of North-South academic exchange experiences, this paper aims to highlight and discuss the differences between the approach adopted by schools located in contexts where urban informality is endemic and the experimentations carried out by those institutions that are not directly connected to it. Indeed, local architects involved with upgrading projects in informal neighborhoods tend to incorporate a 'first aid' approach to deal with what they consider to be the result of socially irresponsible policies and chronic injustice whereas foreign designers are precisely attracted by the very unusual conditions of the informal city and therefore by the possibilities they offer to think and work otherwise.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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