We are talking about how the processes can be organised and enhanced and encouraged by governments so that they release the capability of populations to build for themselves. Mona Serageldin’s paper showed the risk of disorganised processes and another paper showed the result of organised processes. If you make a comparison with health care, the curriculum of the specialist in primary health care is a different curriculum from the specialist in tertiary care. I wonder whether this is the area where the intervention of the architect and the role of architect should be reviewed because in the debate, it seems to me that the role of the architect is to impact the process and not the product. The impact on the product will be the result of impacting the process.

His Highness the Aga Khan: The whole discussion has been very interesting in the sense that there appears to be a consensus that we are talking about process more than we are about form.

We are talking about how the processes can be organised and enhanced and encouraged by governments so that they release the capability of populations to build for themselves. Mona Serageldin’s paper showed the risk of disorganised processes and another paper showed the result of organised processes. If you make a comparison with health care, the curriculum of the specialist in primary health care is a different curriculum from the specialist in tertiary care. I wonder whether this is the area where the intervention of the architect and the role of architect should be reviewed because in the debate, it seems to me that the role of the architect is to impact the process and not the product.

The impact on the product will be the result of impacting the process. Whereas in the individual house or the tertiary health care problem, it is the professional dealing with one individual it would be worthwhile, asking the question — what can governments do to enhance the creation of the process? That appears to be a whole area for discussion. Governments and bureaucracies are generally bad social organisers. That is not their role and to say to government — get out, is fine, but it is not going to solve the problem. There have got to be energies released which allow organisations to come into existence in whatever form these may be, so that the process can accelerate.

It is the necessity for the community to be an integral partner in the development process of the housing, and the need for there to be a dialogue between the community and the people responsible for developing the product. A question which is delicate and difficult to answer is how does the architect determine who is his partner in this dialogue?

His Highness the Aga Khan: I want to take up some points that were made by John de Monchaux and many delegates from Kenya and from Tanzania. It is the necessity for the community to be an integral partner in the development process of the housing, and the need for there to be a dialogue between the community and the people responsible for developing the product. A question which is delicate and difficult to answer is how does the architect determine who is his partner in this dialogue? Is that dialogue partner qualified to talk about the issues of concern to the community, is the dialogue partner dealing with a quantum of people that is manageable or a quantum of people that is unmanageable. When you talk about 5,000 or 10,000 housing units, what is the process of information that needs to pass from the constituency that you wish to house to the people who are responsible for the project? This gets back to the question how you organise communities to articulate their needs in an organic and structured manner and in language which people can respond to? That is perhaps one of the most delicate issues in developing housing in the Third World because communities are not necessarily organised and they are not necessarily articulate. In an industrialised world, one simply does not live with that sort of problem. I want to underline that issue as being one that is small but nonetheless fundamental to the whole process.

SOURCES

POSSIBLY RELATED READINGS (GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY)