Making the case for Co-Design
User involvement in the design of buildings
Essay published in the RSA Journal
Matter’s Roland Karthaus argues that we have to move beyond thinking of buildings as simple containers, towards structures that are changed over time by the people that use them. The focus in many, current design processes is on the narrowly defined technical performance of buildings; while this has undoubtedly improved over recent decades, the ability to accommodate increasingly complex, fluid and unpredictable use has not. The ability to adapt can be built in to architecture, if the users of buildings are meaningfully involved in the design process. Roland draws on his experience of co-design in housing and public projects to demonstrate why the significant investment of time and energy they involve reap much greater rewards in the long term.