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Promoting design value in public rented housing

Samuel, F., (2018) Promoting design value in public rented housing. Working Paper. CACHE, University of Glasgow. pp28.

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“Bullied and undermined, planning authorities have been left castrated and toothless, stripped of the skills and power they need to regulate, and sapped of the spatial imagination to actually plan places.” (Wainwright, 2014). In recent years the economic dimension of housing design has dominated housing discourse most notably through the activities of Volume House Builders, meaning that other types of long-term design value - social, sustainable and cultural – the hallmarks of quality have been neglected. This paper argues that the promotion of design value is closely linked to the status and power of its champions within the housing delivery team, most notably architects and planners. Architects, the most highly trained housing designers, are taught to work at multiple scales to develop spatial and material strategies, using boundary objects (drawings, models and so on) as the basis for negotiations with clients, ‘users’ and others, using professional judgment honed through practice to deliver housing that delivers on multiple dimensions of design value. The paper provides a brief historical account of the marginalisation of architects, planners (and design value) from housing delivery and research - covering key issues such as procurement, building contracts, fees, post occupancy evaluation and the dissolution of local authority housing departments - as a precursor to developing a series of policy recommendations for the promotion of design value in public rented housing going forward.

Item Type:Report (Working Paper)
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Architecture
Science > School of the Built Environment > Urban Living group
ID Code:79855
Uncontrolled Keywords:housing, design, procurement, local authorities
Additional Information:ESRC CACHE UK Collaborative Housing Evidence Centre funded this work

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