Savda Ghewra in Delhi, India
Julia King, PhD Research Thesis
Incremental City, the Interconnectedness of Making and Town
Recent scholarship has highlighted the need for more inclusive urban development to abate the capitalist neoliberal narrative which questions the right of the poor to participate equally in city life. This debate goes beyond the politics of occupation and challenges the processes by which the city is made. The research learns from methodology of anthropology (and sociology) with a focus on participatory methods in combination with architectural research and spatial analysis.
The research uses the term ‘incrementalism’ as a way of investigating and theorizing ‘city’. ‘Incrementalism’ is seen as an alternative to high-capital, centralized, hierarchical and inflexible approaches that have dominated ‘master planned’ urbanism.
The research examines this approach in the specific context of Delhi and its slum resettlement communities, principally the peri-urban resettlement colony of Savda Ghevra. Asking the question: does ‘incrementalism’, defined within the context of sharing by collaborative making as a way of making the ‘city’, result in human freedoms and a human economy?
The research argues that there is a direct relationship between freedom for collaboration and the making of the built environment. By a series of practice-led live projects, the research documents and analyses existing and proposes new forms of social collaboration and sharing in Savda Ghevra.
The thesis argues that people empower themselves socially and politically – they craft a civic order - by being active participants in the process of making; a process characterized by sharing and incremental improvements, additions and developments. It also concludes that opportunities for engagement which are lost in large scale, one-stop, highly-capitalised projects are more readily available during incremental change. Furthermore through engagement with the incremental city/ town/neighbourhood, through shared making the sum total of human freedoms and capacities can be enhanced leading to a more consolidated and hence safer and more durable city neighbourhoods.
Housing, infrastructure (water and sanitation), urban planning, development and participatory design processes.
Current research activities
The Core House(ing) Project
The Potty Project
Community-based total sanitation
Centre for Policy Research Workshop Series
Paradigm Shifts in Housing: Information and Incremental Housing
News from the School
Architecture graduates premiere new documentary at the Barbican
'Nubia Way: A Story of Black-led Self Building' tells the story of London’s first black-led housing co-operative. The premiere takes place at 7pm on 20 July.
Architecture at London Met scores highest for student satisfaction in the capital
The results were published in the latest Complete University Guide.
London Met academic chooses top books on sustainable design
Architect, academic and rewilding expert Sian Moxon is also the author of Sustainability in Interior Design, which highlights the need for designers to adapt the way they work.
Students collaborate with industry on sustainable construction project
Architecture students worked with Wikihouse, who aim to transform methods of building to produce healthy, high-performance, zero-carbon, zero-waste homes and neighbourhoods.
London Met students design new Pavilion for the National Forest
The winning design will be built next month by students from a local construction college, and used as an exhibition space about climate change.
London Met's HomeGrownHouse project highlighted by Forestry Commission
The project is one of 17 projects nationwide to receive Woods into Management Forestry Innovation funding from the government, and one of only two highlighted as a regional case study.
London Met architecture students receive Commendations at the 2021 RIBA President's Medals
Ian Davide Bugarin was recognised in the category of architecture dissertation, and Conor Lawless in the architectural design category (RIBA Bronze Medal).
Dwelling on the Future
Hannah Parr reports on a celebration event for a new book by architect and academic Pierre D'Avoine, which explores the design of dwelling environments.
Hundreds of trees to be planted by London Met community
Students and staff will plant a range of tree species as part of the annual event at Mudchute City Farm to promote sustainability and biodiversity.
HomeGrownHouse: London Met housing project to be highlighted at COP26
A research project led by London Met’s George Fereday which offers sustainable, low-cost solutions to UK construction, will be showcased at the major climate conference COP26.
'Enough Already' - Unit 08 Masters of Architecture students exhibit research on the nature of reuse
Christopher Smith, recent MArch graduate and Unit 08 alumnus, explores the recent exhibition and the process of building it.
Learning from Nubia Way
A creative team from The Architecture Foundation is crowdfunding to deliver a short documentary about the Black-led self-build housing scheme.
How We Live Now: designing feminist cities
A new installation at the Barbican explores a series of important questions about our public spaces and designed environments, and who they serve.
Doyenne of Barking: London Met architecture alumna wins Female Frontier Award
The Female Frontier Awards recognise remarkable, talented and visionary women of all ages, at every level across global architecture.