Towards architectural design empowerment: analysis of the Solidary Mobile Housing project’s rationale through Theory of Change in Direct Design Empowerment Framework


Kesdi H. S.

CODESIGN : INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COCREATION IN DESIGN AND THE ARTS, vol.1, pp.1-18, 2024 (AHCI)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15710882.2024.2358970
  • Journal Name: CODESIGN : INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COCREATION IN DESIGN AND THE ARTS
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Art Source, Communication Abstracts, Design & Applied Arts Index, Educational research abstracts (ERA), INSPEC, Metadex, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-18
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

The politics of participatory design implicates empowerment as the core value of the approach. This study centres on empowerment as its primary focus and seeks to address the gap in literature by exploring the implications of the phenomenon in architectural design. Direct Design Empowerment Framework (dDEF) is briefly introduced and applied to analyse the end user empowerment in the Solidary Mobile Housing (SMH) case – a Living Laboratory on the co-creation of an alternative, temporary, or transitional housing solution for the Brussels-Capital Region. Besides revealing that the SMH proposal can be considered promising in terms of end user empowerment, the critical discussion of the findings also reveals a lack of clarity in defining empowerment in architectural design. It is argued that an explicit and systematic evaluation is needed for identification and more radical envisioning of empowerment facilitating power sharing and mutual learning between all actors. Finally, as a secondary outcome, the study presents observations on the efficacy of dDEF in evaluating empowerment. The study concludes by revisiting the research questions, discussing its limitations, and suggesting for future research directions.