By Others: Architecture as Mediation, Collaboration as Context
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This thesis investigates architecture as a mediation in the context of collaborative housing production in Havana, Cuba. Given that these processes occur whether architects are present or not, this study demonstrates the value of architecture as mediation of the heterogeneous others who come together to make a building project. Architecture as mediation is alternative to the current approaches to so called “participatory architecture” in Cuba, some of which are overly formulaic and neglect the diversity of urban residents. Rather than propose a new method to assist self-help construction of housing, architectural projects are instead regarded as inherently collaborative. Thus, the architecture primarily seeks to discover how disparate parts might work together in a bricolage assembly. This approach attempts to support differences among autonomous parts to make high-quality architecture from pragmatic solutions to housing.