Housing Community Design: ‘Right To Contribute’ Beyond ‘Right To Be Heard’

a symbolic semi-circle of well fed politicians and bureaucrats pretending to break ground with shovels
Hogging the limelight, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and a bunch of bigwigs break ground on a supportive housing project. See any signs of actual community folk who provided advice on how this project should be designed?

Victor Body-Lawson heads an architecture studio that designs affordable housing in the United States and Africa. He describes a recent moment of pleasure when he read a housing proposal for a traditionally Black area of New York City. It felt to him as if it had been written by someone in the community.

Body-Lawson hails this community contribution to a neighbourhood project. It represents an important step beyond framing a housing challenge solely in terms how the city perceives its own needs.

In an interview with de zeen he describes how meaningful involvement in a community housing project provides a sense of both ownership and accomplishment that benefits not only its occupants but the project’s owners and managers. His interests lie in how architects can support support and enhance these community objectives.

Read more in de zeen: “The best tool for empowering people is through affordable housing,” says architect Victor Body-Lawson