Building with people

Research on autoconstruction as a tool for participatory processes
At MILANO in Italy
In 2008

On the occasion of the exhibition “Casa per Tutti” (“Housing for all”) curated by Fulvio Irace, the cultural institution Triennale di Milano and ASF-Italia, together with the Politecnico di Milano and ESEM (Ente Scuola Edile Milanese) promoted the workshop “Building with people. Low cost technologies for developing countries”. The objective was three-fold: to learn, apply and experiment a few technologies from different low-income contexts; to physically build a few housing units that are appropriate to some of the socio-cultural-environmental contexts where ASF-Italia operates; to experience and exchange ideas on different construction techniques that are appropriable by many and can make a powerful medium to facilitate processes of participation and auto-construction of one’s own living environment.

The main reference for the technologies that ASF-Italia tested is the research promoted by the workgroup Casapartes, Cyted (Ciencia y Tecnologia para el Desarrollo): since 1997 Casapartes has been disseminating appropriate and appropriable technologies for the social production of habitat in Latin America.

The workshop was organized into two phases: theoretical seminars, aimed to circumscribe and clarify the issue of housing in low-income areas; the practical activity of building, aimed to experiment and verify technologies and building processes.

All the practical activities were held at Triennale Bovisa and, with the support of video and internet connections, they were part of the exhibition “Casa per Tutti”.

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