Civic Design: Reinterpreting The Principles Of Civic Design
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3. From urban design to civic design: reinterpreting the principles of civic design as part of an analytical framework
The theoretical principles of civic design offer a thorough comprehension between the physical conditions of built space and its social fabric, by establishing the indivisible relation between these two dimensions as the expression of civic life: an institutionalized arrangement built through collective responsibilities which, in practice, should marginalize the exercise of individual acts in city building. This was argued by Adshead (1910) – a key figure in the department of Civic Design at the School of Architecture in the University of Liverpool, where these principles were established. Accordingly, the act of city planning…show more content… Civic design understood as a process of production – guided by multiple backgrounds and institutional components – and the result of such, experienced as the conditions of civic life. Source: TO BE DEFINED.
The study of civic life would therefore focus mainly on the social constituents of urban space, yet epistemologically linked to the material expression of this socio-spatial environment. In other words, civic design envisages a system in which civic life will have its decisive expression as built space and social life (see figure 3). Thus, this approach offers the possibility to assess the state of civic life as the social expression of the built up area and vice-versa, in line with Lefebvre’s (1991) philosophical insights on the social production of space.
It should be made clear in the present theoretical interpretation that civic life is not part of a fixed perspective, as neither it is the production of civic design. The production of civic design is understood as a complex group of actions that emerge from architecture, urban design, human geography, plus the institutional and governance assemblies that drive these forces (Inzulza-Contardo & Cruz-Gambardella, 2014). In this sense, Adshead’s paradigmatic view on the purpose of civic design is expanded into a theory of urban design behavior and production. Still, a ‘good quality’ of civic life should be representative of an adequate performance of the multiple disciplinary and institutional components that sustain and drive the production of civic