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*Edit: Please note this is not a prescription for future cities. My objective here is to identify variables and perceptions that are currently not central in discussion yet are central to the realities of tomorrow.
- City as record
- City as interface
- City as library
- City as software
- City as hardware
- City as inheritance
- City as puzzle
- City as experiment
- City as a game
- City as language
- City as narrative
- City as reaction
- City as sport
- City as reproduction
- City as resistance
- City as byproduct
- City as ...
Much of this change toward a professional model is the consequence of Barbara Harrell-Bond whose intense anthropological criticism toward UNHCR, and UN operations in general, did much to orient it toward an improved system of accountable projects by competent people. Yet while her impact has been monumental, and continues to be extended by the efforts of countless researchers and activists within refugee studies, the state of encampment remains poor.
|Police Checkpoint on Ashura Holiday in Kabul, Afghanistan|
- Detours caused by road blocks force the redistribution and retarded delivery of capital causing unnecessary losses and social inequities. For example, the guy who collects and sells firewood must pull his heavy cart an excessive extra distance before getting to his customer base, or because he cannot access his customers, he must compete against another firewood salesman in a more accessible neighborhood, reducing profits and potentially causing territorial conflict.
- Lack of identification among citizens and the frequency of police checkpoints disrupts the flow of goods and people, and further causes new touchpoints for conflict occur. In developing countries, most people do not have a birth certificate let alone a license or photo identification. Just as often the police are illiterate and after long work hours are impatient and tired. While checkpoints are important for security, they also create points of friction in the community and can inspire new conflicts.
- Most neighborhoods were founded and grew around tightly defined tribal identities. Over time these tribal concepts began to deconstruct, yet the emergence of social conflict will re-inspire tribal allegiances When communities are heavily segregated by tribe, cross-tribal interaction is more likely to motivate suspicion and hostility than friendship and commerce. When physical barricades disrupt the movement of people, it prevents opportunities to again break down tribal allegiances.
|Blast walls dictate all movement and transport cooridors in Kabul |
- What if police checkpoints could be design and operated in such a way that 10 years from now, citizens would say "remember when we had that checkpoint? I rather miss it, that really added something to our community."
- What if security infrastructure, such as blast walls or Jersey-walls, were created in such a way that their identity could become absorbed into the the landscape over time?
- What if urban security was approached as a process of customer service, and thus techniques successful in retail could be infused within security operations? To extent we already have this, but does a visit to the police station feel like a visit to the genius bar? Do customers have a way to provide feedback into the service experience for improvement? Most people are afraid of security providers, how can this be changed?
|Karte-Seh. Kabul Afghanistan. Sutika-Sipus 2013|
Will such an integrated process always work? Absolutely not. There are too many variables, and it is incredibly difficult to measure how much influence each variable will impose upon the outcome. To borrow from Nate Silver's book, it is a challenge to separate the signal from the noise. But product design is no different. There are always glitches, a necessity to release updates, and to release a next generation product based on the precursor. The Integrated Planning Process does not result in a single one-off solution to later abandon. Rather it sets the foundation for sequential upgrading.
|Unique Feature or Tactical Vantage Point?|
|Informal housing adorns Kabul's mountains, complete with no water, no sanitation, and no roads (Photo: Sutika Sipus)|
|The Recently Completed Darulaman Road in Kabul (Sutika Sipus)|
- Planners are trained with a balance of contextual and technical knowledge that promotes clear communication between team members.
- Planners have an innate understanding of administrative and management skills
|Defensive Perimeter, Kabul Afghanistan (Sutika Sipus)|
- Some consulting firms like to market themselves as skilled in "strategic design" but actually have little or no ability with design-thinking or the design process
- Architects and engineers rarely have the ethnographic research skills to recognize and integrate subtle social processes into their design
- Many architects and engineers do realize the value of basic site visits and create plans that are not consistent with the local economy or patterns in land use
- Most professionals in social or political skills have the research skills, but are weak in areas of communication, presentation, and further more do not have the hard skills to design solutions from the research. At best, they can only advise on policy or suggest solutions for others to design.
|Art Deco Architecture in Mogadishu Somalia (Sutika Sipus)|
|Mogadishu, Somalia (Sutika Sipus)|
|The Youth Volunteers of the Mogadishu Benadiir Adminstration (Sutika Sipus)|
|Local Cafe in Mogadishu Somalia (Sutika Sipus)|
|Urban Planning and Reconstruction in Mogadishu|
Concise and innovative urban planning solutions
are in clear demand in Mogadishu Somalia
|Design is an experimental process to question and remix the obvious|
|Concept Development within Product Design Methodology|
|The power of design can also undermine real analysis|
|Design Tip #1 for all the Design-Thinking Innovation folks: When pasting an image onto a monitor, |
include an offset darkened reflection for that professional touch [Pic by Mitch].
|Tip #2: Always include filigrees|
to come across as hip but refined.
|Tip #3: Always include helvetica in your photoshop images, |
ideally contrasted with a font no one can read [Pic by Mitch]
|Tip #4: Use QR Codes all the time|
since no one uses them outside of Asia