Macchiavello / The Housing Issue in Global South Countries

The Housing Issue in Global South Countries A methodological Approach to Define Innovative Housing Solutions and Policies in Informal Urban Settlements in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author: Alessia Macchiavello, Politecnico di Milano

Supervisor: Laura Montedoro, Politecnico di Milano

Research stage: initial doctoral stage

Category: Extended abstract

DDR Statement

Design-driven research from my point of view, also considering my research and therefore my field of application of the method, is seen as a helpful approach to plan for the future, especially in projects concerning complex environmental challenges. In fact, characteristic for study by design is generating know-how and understanding by studying the effects of actively and systematically varying both the design objects and their complex context. In research by design, the architectural design process forms a pathway through which new insights, knowledge, practices or products come into being. It generates critical inquiry through design work. Therefore, research results are obtained by, and are consistent with, experience in practice that, as Sarr also points out in his essay Afrotopia (Sarr, 2018)in order to be sustainable, development must be rooted in the local culture. Methods of DDR serve as a focal lens able to identify specific themes and practices, allowing us to explain their origins and effects in projects, in the design process and finally in its application. This then, as far as I can see, leads to two results: firstly, this methodology has an impact on the researcher who applies it, making explicit ways of designing and thus making it possible to understand and improve the quality of his or her projects. Secondly, and no less importantly, especially for my field of research and application of it, the DDr methodology will make it possible to relate a specific work to its community of practice and to relevant architectural theory and history.