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Inoperative design: ‘not doing’ and the experience of the Community Architects Network

Boano, Camillo and Talocci, Giorgio 2018. Inoperative design: ‘not doing’ and the experience of the Community Architects Network. City 21 (6) , pp. 860-871. 10.1080/13604813.2017.1412649

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This paper presents a renewed critical reflection of the position and role of architecture in the current social turn of the practice. By thinking through a ‘resistant’ lens, taken from Giorgio Agamben’s spatial political aesthetics, this paper proposes that architectural design practice can reclaim its social agency. These reflections are grounded in the practice of community architecture as it has recently emerged out of the intensifying experience of informality and associated slum settlements in the rapidly growing cities of South-East Asia. Born out of the decade-long experience of the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights, the Community Architects Network (CAN) was founded in 2010 and now connects practitioners in 19 countries. Based on a five-year-long engagement between the authors and CAN, the paper reflects on the critical possibilities of CAN’s practice, discussing propositions, ambitions, challenges, and opportunities, and the political potential of architecture. Additionally, it presents its limitations, questioning to what extent such practices can be considered a kind of ‘negligence’, that is, a resistance against the status quo as a way of effectively strengthening new subjectivities and voices.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
ISSN: 1360-4813
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 December 2019
Date of Acceptance: 25 January 2018
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2020 07:04

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