Citizen's words are not just idle talk: collecting stories for giving ground to the project

Abstract : This paper is concerned about the way we approach a project on ordinary urban spaces. Changing such spaces takes more than just a clear political vision guided by a strong architectural design. The people are already there, settled; The place is a palimpsest of buildings and personal stories. We make the hypothesis that better design needs to take the existing condition into account. Giving an account of the place and its inhabitants can help reaching it. This story telling of the genius loci is both singular and plural. It gives an account of social practices, ambiances, history(ies). It mixes past, present and future. It gives voice to the ordinary citizens in the same way as it does to the politicians or the urban managers. We make the hypothesis that hybridizing techniques and expertise from practical and research fields in architecture/urban design can help developing a project. Many methods coming from research world can be adapted to urban design: “commented visits”, observations, etc. Recounting, photographing drawing or filming are multiple ways of telling the stories of a place . Each place, territory or project needs its very own set of techniques. The voice, ordinary and expert at the same time, is given on the spot. These methods make it possible to reveal the characters of a place. They make it possible to gain a better mutual understanding between all stakeholders of a project. If they are not the project yet, they give stronger foundations to (the development of)the project.
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Conference papers
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00395069
Contributor : Jean-Michel Roux <>
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Last modification on : Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 3:52:03 PM
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Jean-Michel Roux, Nicolas Tixier. Citizen's words are not just idle talk: collecting stories for giving ground to the project. Leadership in Architectural Research, between academia and the profession, ARCC (the Architectural Research Centers Consortium), May 2009, San Antonio, United States. pp.107-113. ⟨halshs-00395069⟩

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