Design and Democracy

Design and Democracy

Publication Type:
chapter
Date Issued:
2018
Authors:
Peter Parker , Nina Vogel , Lisa Diedrich
Publisher:
Blauwdruk
Language:
eng
Page:
285-291
ISBN:
978-94-9247-430-8
Abstract:

Landscape architects today love run-down areas, the challenge of temporary projects, hands-on activities, working with people, and the aesthetics of the transitory. They often experience themselves as part of a particularly democratic process of space production when given the opportunity to address urban redevelopment through temporary interventions, claiming to make a difference to conventional ways of planning and building. Alternative forms of power, they feel, can be enacted through new forms of professional expertise, with public authorities accepting or fostering these precarious production modes, and with designers in the role of activists. The much lauded emergence of temporary bottom-up projects in urban redevelopment areas also raises the question of their true democratic potential. Often presented as enabling new forms of democracy and participatory planning for imagining and building new urban forms and new professional profiles, they also carry the danger of abusing people’s resources for tacit interests of societally established power groups and of derailing into ‘people-washing’. To distinguish between democratic enhancement and its abuse requires mining the notion of democracy. In this essay we do so in crossing research on the spatial aspects of democracy with theory on radical participation in order to develop a frame for judgment of concrete projects.

Keywords:
temporary use democracy urban redevelopment design