Clumsy Architecture for Wicked Urban Problems
In the minefield of stakeholder tensions that stands between the practitioner and successful design outcomes, lies seen and unseen mines. Those we can see, we need to focus on defusing it. Left undefused, gaps in design outcomes will occur. Those we cannot see, we need to uncover them before it becomes too late to defuse.In response, this thesis proposes the Clumsy Architecture Initiative – a stakeholder tension minesweeper – into the practitioners’ arsenal. The Minesweeper consist firstly a mine-defusing shared manual in the form of a knowledge repository that practitioners may find potential solutions
to defuse these multitude of tension mines. And secondly a mine-detection toolkit to aid practitioners to uncover tension mines that we do not see.
Trial courses developed and delivered to groups of students demonstrated the efficacy of the mine-detector toolkit. They were able to grasp the toolkit quickly, uncover stakeholder tension mines effectively, and in response intuitively made tangible improvements to their design schemes. Practitioners introduced to the Clumsy Architecture Minesweeper express support for its practical application towards addressing a salient real-world problem, and the potential of its contribution to the profession. This thesis serves as a foundation for the Clumsy Architecture Minesweeper to be developed further and proliferated into local education and professional development.
Highly insightful and innovative, RJ’s thesis not only provides the profession with a useful tool to explore, analyse and negotiate the complexity of practice with respect to stakeholders’ different interests, but also challenges the status quo of architects and architecture. More importantly, in the context of architecture thesis, this unconventional approach calls for a very needed reflection on the essence of thesis, especially on what kind of values that a thesis can potentially bring about to the profession and in which ways.
- Asst. Prof. Zhang Ye (Dr.)