On the Margin of Cities
In urban environments outside of North America and Western Europe, one of their prominent characteristics is the prevalence of the informal settlements. This paper reports the design research that the author and students have been performing in slums in Addis Ababa, Mexico City, Manila, and Mumbai. The research documents and analyzes experiences in slums architecturally, then explores the relationship to the local socio-cultural contexts. The design research aims to ask the question of how to interrogate contemporary spatial and formal practices in this context. How can these practices be theorized within the context of the theory of modernity in architecture? The research intends not only to offer the understanding of slums in descriptive or prescriptive fashions, but also to seek generative design principles that possess potentials as social catalysts.
keywords: slums, generative principles, modernity