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Title: A new centre for civic engagement in architecture
Authors: Dharmaraj, Sahana
Keywords: architecture centre;civic engagement;active citizenship;inclusion;dissemination;exchange;feedback;activism;communication;democratization;graphic design;exhibiting architecture
Issue Date: 9-Apr-2019
Abstract: How connected are residents to the development of architecture in their respective communities? This inquiry precipitates from the growing concern that the degree of engagement between the greater public and the discipline of architecture is dismally minute. At a local level, residents are left largely uninformed of the swift expansion that often radically alters their surroundings. Architecture centres attempt to address this divide by hosting a variety of programmes—such as lectures, exhibitions and workshops—that enable those not versed in architectural discourse to question and contest their built environment. Drawing from communication theory and the field of graphic design, this thesis explores the architecture centre as a locus of community engagement and participative debate fueled by information made accessible through rigorous visual communication strategies. From an in-depth study of architecture centres, globally and nationally, emerges five distinct types of centres: the "institution", the "centre", the "hub", the "temporary" and the "digital". Case studies of each type reveal that reanalysis of the operative functions of architecture centres is necessary to envision even further salient methods of engaging the public. This thesis argues that architecture can be made accessible by learning from systems of communication employed by contemporary communication agencies and graphic designers. Experimentation-through-making of print media such as zines and posters assists in understanding how best to convey messages to the target audience. The thesis posits that an architecture centre sited in a community that is projected to see rapid, unprecedented growth will act as a proactive means of spurring a dialogue between architects and residents to ensure all voices are being accounted for in their prospective built environment. The design of an architecture centre further develops the proposition that democratizing architectural ideas and planning processes can aid in elevating the quality of future development in a community; and ultimately act as an example of a single centre that would compromise a much larger network of analogous centres working in tandem across Canada.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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