We are currently witnessing the largest wave of urban growth in human history. The nature and scope of this shift varies across the globe, but economic development and consumption are altering the quality of life for city dwellers and rural communities, bringing disproportional prosperity to some, while increasing inequality for many.
This symposium will explore the strengths and weaknesses of bottom-up social drivers as catalysts for development, growth, and transformation of our built environments in ways that are equitable, inclusive, affordable, and sustainable. To facilitate this discussion around Bottom-up Social Change, we seek examples of architectural research and practice that address any of the following questions:
- How does bottom-up social change inform the sorts of spaces that we create and how we occupy them? How is architecture and public space informed by social engagement and grass-roots activism? How are materials deployed in these spaces to encourage (or discourage) safe and inclusive social interactions?
- How does bottom-up social change inform or transform the way we practice and/or conduct research? Are there novel decision-making models (during the planning, design, or constructions processes) that are local, democratic, and participatory? What are the goals of such models and how is success measured? Are there other disciplines that we can learn from or should be engaged to facilitate these inclusive and participatory models?
- How does bottom-up social change scale up? What larger trends or phenomena emerge from a series of small, bottom-up interventions? Can systems thinking help us understand these scalar cause and effect relationships?
We invite submissions that address one or more of these topics for affecting social change at the material scale, at the building scale, or at the community scale.