Our collaborator Dr. Camillo Boano is a member of this year’s final jury before which our students present their final thesis. An architect, urbanist and teacher, he is currently Senior Lecturer at Development Planning Unit, UCL, where he directs the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development.
In an interesting article titled Architecture must be defended: informality and the agency of space published last week at Open Democracy, Camillo analyzes the renaissance in interest in informality and socially-driven architecture, identifying key actors both past and present such as Ananya Roy, John Turner, Teddy Cruz, Urban Think Tank, and Nabeel Hamdi (the last of whom, as a matter of fact, is one of our visiting professors next fall).
Camillo defends the practice of architecture in its potential to redefine itself and perhaps not solely solve, but certainly move toward the political emancipation and possible empowerment of the urban poor:
“Architecture must begin to engage in a new critical project to reclaim the political and social natures of the practice. We must defend architecture from the pessimism that has been attributed to it in order to utilise the practice’s true potential. Architectural design must take different forms, from a conscious act of not intervening physically in the built environment to the production of spaces that explicitly challenge dominant ideological perspectives, and engage with issues at a level beyond the merely technical, aesthetical and physical.”
Read the entire article here.