November 28, 2013




Leslie Kanses Weisman writes in the text “Women’s Environmental Rights: A Manifesto”, that our built society is built in such a way that it has been divided into classes and thus reinforces inequalities in a society in a negative way.

She sees space as a political act and intends to weaken the existing political factors to design a built environment that is fairer. She stresses the importance of people in different disciplines to get involved in the fight for a fairer society, one in which the built environment does not exclude or discriminate against some groups.

“Discrimination by Design”, sentences like this, in my experience has not occurred in my education until now. And when one thinks of what one does by all decisions in the design process, it is perhaps a phrase that should be more important than what I feel it has been.

In our built community there is probably much that is not designed for e.g. mothers, children, and the disabled. An idea that got me thinking about our built environment and how we in school projects deal with issues related to changes in society is the experience I have gained through them.

The projects shows one many times samples of (in my experiences) taking critical design decisions without having empathy, but assuming for e.g. what poor people want without an understanding of the everyday problems that exist. Everyone is different and there is a problem with decision-making based on assumptions, In terms of space, maybe one should think about the definition of space, the usage of it for different groups. An example of difference in space is closed courtyards from southern countries in comparison to the traditional Swedish property boundary that often consists of about a meter high hedge.  There should be more focus of how space is used and a deeper understanding of why it is used in a certain way.

I believe one in a learning environment, which is a place with very few limitations, should strive for more than it is done at present. Every now and then one sees projects at school where radical changes are made to a building or in an area that usually tend to be in poorer neighbourhoods. It is for some reason more justified to experiment in areas where people have less to say, this is the reality one lives in. It is for me staying in the comfort zone because that is something that has been done before and it’s usually not the other way around. To take decisions in order to avoid discussions or conflict (which is more comfortable) is something I believe to be wrong, because conflicts are solutions of problems as long as they are done without violence.


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