ArgumentNo. 4/2012

Social housing in extreme poverty

Abstract

The presentation brings an insight on the program of social housing in extremely poor settlements run by the Soros Foundation Romania over 2010 and 2011, the program manager being Lorin Niculae, Arch. Along with a brief introduction of the conditions and premises of the intervention, there are explained the principles and methods of a participatory architecture: the bottom-up model, the empowerment and enablement of the communities, the direct, peer to peer work with the communities members, the involvement of the beneficiaries in the early phases of design, the flexibility and capacity to evolve and transform of the proposed architecture, the implementation of trans disciplinary teams and the study of the cultural identity are just few instruments sine qua non for a good intervention; without them, any intervention might be seen as oppressive rather than necessary. The change of the housing paradigm and getting rid of the modernist model represent a stake of the moment for creating an architecture of the public interest in Romania.

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