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  • Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment

Brass, Clare, 2010, Monograph, Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment Project Report. University of Westminster, London.

Abstract or Description:

Brass was a member of the research team for the inter-European SCIBE project (HERA-funded), exploring relationships between scarcity and creativity in the context of the built environment, where scarcity is interpreted as an economic, social and cultural condition. The project questioned the underlying assumptions on which growth and development are traditionally founded.
Brass investigated how scarcity might affect the creativity of architects, and how design-led actions might improve environments where scarcity is rife. The hypothesis that scarcity may stimulate creativity was tested in Bromley-by-Bow, noted as the most deprived area of London. With the team, Brass devised a combination of methodologies, including observation techniques, photographic recordings and ‘dérive’ (a situationist technique of wandering to absorb diverse information about a geographical location), to explore the area. In-depth interviews were conducted with over 100 local residents to establish their relationship to the place where they lived. A competition to explore ideas for the future regeneration of the area under scarcity led to two public presentations of ideas; the research team selected a combination of the best ideas and then created four teams with symbiotic thinking. Brass worked with each team to help develop enterprising and viable propositions, ensuring robust social and environmental credentials as well as business potential, using design methodologies for community engagement.
The research shed unexpected light on preconceptions of scarcity, and culminated with a public exhibition of the final outputs, ‘Sightlines: Mapping Scarcity and Creativity in Bromley-By-Bow’ held in Bromley-by-Bow in 2013.
Brass is now co-investigator on the inter-European project, SusLabNWE, looking to improve feedback on energy-use in low-income households.

Subjects: Architecture > K900 Others in Architecture
Other > Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2013 13:56
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2014 15:59
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1502

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