Community and Architecture Treble

Patrick Geddes, Team X and John Turner



Project, Community, CIAM, Patrick Geddes, Participation


This research seeks to relate some of the processes that led to consider within the Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne the inclusion of the concept of community and the successive incorporation of the settlers to the architectural project, by showing a context of references, reverberations and interactions around the subject. A bibliographic review of primary and secondary sources that narrate those actions from the end of the 19th century was carried out, with the contribution of Patrick Geddes theories, which had a notable influence in Team X, leading to the end of CIAMs in the mid-20th century, and also to the anarchist architect John Turner, a key figure who researched pioneering experiences of popular housing in Peru and disseminated them in the Global North. The discussions that took place in the CIAMs questioned the absolute hierarchy of the professional vis-à-vis the communities, in which the notion of authorship of work is disregarded and is fully transferred to the users. Those pioneering experiences can be a call for attention to consider spaces not disputed by the real estate market as a part of architectural praxis, especially in Latin America. This involves a process of recognition and clash with the reality of most of the geographic space of our cities – unequal in essence – and eager for expeditious solutions to the great contradictions that prevail in our context.


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2021-03-25 — Updated on 2021-06-24