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Dissertation Medal Winner 2019

Towards Effective Architectural Practice: Lessons from the Elthorne Housing Estate

Part 2 Dissertation 2019
Naomi Rubbra
Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) | UK
"What shapes architectural practice and how could it be more effective? This thesis critically reflects on what people need to live a good life and argues that, by better understanding these needs, we might achieve an effective architectural practice; effective in achieving lasting benefits for health, wealth, community and society. At the heart of this enquiry was the question of how the architect’s ‘image’ of current or future users informs their practice, and to what extent does the formation of this image rely on assumed ‘conjectures’ or situated engagement?

Based on a specific kind of situated practice with residents on the Elthorne Housing Estate where I live, this work re-examines the Parker Morris Report (1961) that was influential in shaping the architects’ ‘standardised’ image of the occupiers as young, nuclear families, raising questions about those who did not fit the mould. It also draws on the contemporaneous work of social scientist Jane Darke (1975), who explored the dichotomy between architects and users, and users and their estates, and augments this with fresh insights drawn from new interviews."

Naomi Rubbra

Edward Denison
David Roberts
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