One billion people, a sixth of the world’s population, live in informal “squatter”
settlements. By 2030, the number will double. Public health, education, food
security, employment, and housing are major concerns in these cities, which
exist throughout the world—Khayelitsham, Cape Town, South Africa; Orangi,
Karachi, Pakistan; Sultanbeyli, Istanbul, Turkey; and Heliópolis, São Paulo,
Brazil. Despite the rapid growth of informal settlements, architects and
designers have played only minor roles in the development, design, and
improvement of these environments.
This studio, therefore, explores the phenomena of informal settlements— political, cultural, economic, spatial, tectonic, and aesthetic—and the stereotypes and realities that surround and exist within them. How and why do informal settlements arise? What are the similarities and differences among settlements throughout the world; what is universal and what is particular? What role can and should architectural design play?
Korydon Smith, Professor