The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


New report on participatory design is released

21 January 2014

Change by Design Workshop, Ecuador 2013

The Architecture Sans Frontières UK report on its 2013 Change by Design workshop in Ecuador: ‘Nueva Imaginaciones Espaciales en Los Pinos’ is now out! The report outlines the findings of the 2-week workshop that took place in Quito from August 10 to 24 of 2013, resulting from the collaboration between ASF-UK with Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, El Institute de Altos Estudios Nacionales (IAEN) and the Comité de Desarrollo Comunitario ‘Los Pinos’, with the support of The Bartlett Development Planning Unit and the research project Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE).

The workshop was aimed at defining cross-scalar design options for the future upgrading of Los Pinos, a peri-urban informal settlement located in the municipality of Mejia, south of Quito. Based on the exploration of residents’ spatial practices and imaginations, the workshop investigated ways in which present occupiers can be meaningfully involved in an integrated design/development process as active agents of change, rather than beneficiaries of top-down visions and spatial solutions. The workshop carried out a series of activities to facilitate a participative articulation of residents’ layered needs and aspirations, which aims to contribute to the elaboration of an open-ended, neighbourhood-wide development strategy. Such practices of participatory design, called Change by Design (CbD), are hoped to contribute to the on-going debates about democratizing the production of spaces in Quito and therefore support in the actualization of the national development agenda of ‘Buen Vivir’ (good living) in and urban context and the pursue of goals expressed at the ‘Contrato Social por la Vivienda’ (2005).

Once the workshop ended, two participants of the workshop continued working in Los Pinos as ASF-UK interns for five months, supporting the elaboration of the community management plan that is needed in the process of tenure regularisation. The interns were supervised by the team from Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, who since the workshop has set up a technical assistance group to support Los Pinos’ residents, and who will be continuing to work alongside the community once the interns finish their engagement. ASF-UK and DPU hope to keep supporting this process remotely and with future visits, with the objective of exploring the role of this case in the realization of the ‘Buen Vivir’ agenda in the urban context.

The workshop was coordinated by DPU lecturer Alexandre Apsan Frediani, Bartlett visiting researcher Beatrice De Carli, DPU alumni and PhD candidate at Westminster University Isis Nuñez Ferrera and ASF-UK Associate Naomi Shinkins.

Download the report at Issuu or Purchase a hard copy of the report at Blurb.