UCL Urban Laboratory


New 'Change by Design' report now available

21 January 2014


A new report based on the findings of an Architecture Sans Frontières UK (ASF-UK) Change by Design workshop in Ecuador, 'Nueva Imaginaciones Espaciales en Los Pinos' is now available. The report outlines the findings of a 2-week workshop that took place in Quito in August 2013, resulting from a collaboration between ASF-UK, 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 (DPU) and the research project Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE). The report is in Spanish and aimed at communicating findings to local residents and contributing towards discussions in Ecuador on the issue. 

The workshop was coordinated by Alexandre Apsan Frediani (UCL Development Planning Unit and UCL Urban Laboratory Steering Committee), Beatrice De Carli (Bartlett Visiting Research Fellow at the DPU and UCL Urban Laboratory), Isis Nuñez Ferrera (DPU alumni, PhD candidate Westminster University) and  Naomi Shinkins (ASF-UK Associate).

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 participatory 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), aim to contribute to on-going debates about democratizing the production of spaces in Quito and therefore contribute to the realization of the national development agenda 'Buen Vivir' (Good Living) in an urban context and pursue goals expressed at the 'Contrato Social por la Vivienda' (2005).

After the workshop, two participants 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 in future visits, with the objective of exploring the role of this case in realising the 'Buen Vivir' agenda in the urban context.

Download the report at Issuu or purchase a hard copy at Blurb