Bridging the gap between formal and informal design processes

This doctoral study proposes that, all societies which are in transition require a new role and form of architectural and urban design practice(s) and practitioner(s), which challenge the conventional client centred practice and redefine it to that, of a multitude of stakeholders and the designer/facilitator engaging with and working pro-actively with communities sharing technical expertise for supporting the making of collective spaces as a negotiating tool between the extroverted and the introverted transforming public realms in contemporary cities. This will be done through case studies of Karachi and Brussels drawing on the two decades of practice of the scholar.

The outcomes of the study will form part of the scholarson-going practice both in Karachi, Brussels and or else where and will be available as a reference model (to be adapted) for other architecture and urban design practices. Any context could relate to it, correlating to policy formulations, project making, training and teaching creating a model of ‘co production’ in space making and development.

The study will also contribute to a discourse on urban sustainability via the making of collective spaces, safeguarding and or supporting the often challenged collective spaces, retention of their qualities and organizing principles ensuring positive future impacts on the transformation of the public realms in contemporary cities.

The study results are also seen to eventually take the form of a; nongovernmental organizational, working in association with an academic institution, so that the research done can be used and supported by academics, students and research staff, feeding in to varying practices, policies and the training of professionals. This research, practice, academics connect is expected to form a cycle of trained professionals who can cater to and benefit from the model of research by design.

PhD project, Asiya Sadiq (prom. prof. Kris Scheerlinck, co-prom. prof. Johan Verbeke)