The point of departure for our research is architecture’s failure to define informal urbanism and its effects on the city. Both our current research and the trajectory of our work over the past decade aim at increasing understanding of the informal city from three perspectives:
From a humanitarian standpoint, urban shantytowns are wracked with problems, not the least of which are poverty and a lack of support from professionals.
From a theoretical standpoint, informality is a complex, nonlinear system in which patterns intersect and mutate in unexpected ways.
From a design standpoint, the “informal” can serve as a laboratory for the study of adaptation and innovation.
We are proposing an experimental research and teaching methodology that rethinks the former physical limitations of contemporary architecture and shifts the emphasis from form-driven to purpose-oriented social architecture.