How Does Work Shape Informal Cities? The Critical Design of Cities and Housing in Brazilian Slums

Ana Chagas Cavalcanti

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    Abstract

    This essay is conceived as a reaction to the past conference Shaping Cities of the Urban Age at the 2016 Venice Biennale, Reporting from the Front. In light of numerous global crises, urban explosion, housing shortages and rising social movements, contemporary architecture is increasingly being pushed to investigate the social dimension, impact and implications of urban design.
    In particular, architectural education institutions and practices are expected to be more focused on the social fabric and to address current economic and politic scenarios. How could design dialogue positively influence the great social phenomena in cities where the scarcity of resources, migration, urban informality, global warming and economic crises are the most thriving endeavours? The essay speculates that the importance of labour of slums’ dwellers can assist planners and architects to design with social impact. Authors who study informal settlements usually do not mention that labour practices are the main driving force behind the design of slums. Labour is currently shaping the slums, in terms of material usage and otherwise.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)319-333
    JournalThe Plan Journal
    Volume1
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Keywords

    • labour
    • incremental housing
    • informal setllements
    • favelas

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