28 January 2009 | Posted inBlog News & Updates
Posted by Anica
As of 2008 more people live in cities than in rural areas, and over 1/3 of urban dwellers live in slums. The Places We Live is an exhibit currently at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, but you can take a glimpse on this website, and ‘enter’ individual households to hear real stories. The photos are moving, profound, heart and gut wrenching. Some of these neighborhoods look like a natural disaster – or twenty – just went through. And yet… and yet… they are strangely human, compelling. This is the architecture of necessity and not design.
Another thought. If not for the knowledge that these communities lacked infrastructure, sanitary conditions and security, they might almost seem like model sustainable villages: mixed-use, dense, urban, energy efficient, re-use of materials… I wonder how slums would stack up against luxury eco-enclaves under the LEED rating system? I wonder if there is anything we can learn about design from these spontaneous communities.