The Self-Conscious Architect: Positionalities of Engagement in Design
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The following body of work investigates the positionality of designers relative to the communities in which they work. In four chapters corresponding to different categories of engagement, the text articulates the dilemma of the self-conscious architect who, by virtue of a conscious understanding of self, may develop an understanding of their positionality and become cognizant of the limitations and opportunities for engagement on a particular design project. Despite an ethical imperative for architects to expand the traditional practices of the profession in order to reconcile inequities in the evolution of the built environment, the systems of power which dictate the terms of engagement are resistant to change. Architects therefore must participate in redefining the value proposition of their own profession by the course of action available to them. What follows is a conceptual framework in which social engagement, participatory design, ethnographic research, and historical discourse are possible avenues by which designers can participate in redefining the terms of design with full recognition of the positionality of architecture in a given project.