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  • The Whakatane Community Hub
    These downloads begin with the final stage of the project - the design of two facilities - one a building rehab, the other, a green-field site. The designs were completed over a three month period by students and lecturers at the Unitec School of Architecture in Auckland, working closely with…
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    in Critical Design Praxis Read 534260 times
  • Critical Pedagogy: Where Are We Now? - A Book Review
               A critical Book Review of Peter Mclaren and Joe Kincheloe's 2007 book, Critical Pedagogy: Where Are We Now? Title: Critical Pedagogy: Where Are We Now?Author(s): Peter Mclaren and Joe L. KincheloePublisher: Peter Lang Publishing, New YorkISBN: 0820481475Pages: 411,Year:  2007.    To download the PDF click…
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    in Critical Education Theory Read 500966 times
  • Critical Theory in a Bicultural Tertiary Environment
    This is a copy of a presentation I gave at the Malcolm Murchie and Hiko o Hohepa Lecture Series at the Waiariki Institute of Technology in Rotorua, New Zealand on 9th August, 2012. That presentation - Critical Theory in a Bicultural; Tertiary Education Environment was the culmination and integration of…
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    in Critical Education Theory Read 244311 times

 

 

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My good friend and colleague, Tom Dutton at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio has been working with his architecture students for several years in Over-the-Rhine - a downtown ghetto in Cincinnati. Over-the-Rhine is a national heritage site with 493 buildings listed with the National Register of Historic Buildings. It has the largest collection of 19th Century Italianate tenement buildings in the country - many of which are in a state of decay as a result of City Council disinvestment and financial sector redlining. This historical process of disinvestment (as in many American cities) has resulted in urban decay and very low property values - providing a cheap profiteering opportunity to the development community.

In the last few years, this potential has begun to be realised as the city, in partnership with investors and developers, have embarked on a process of gentrification that is displacing the entire resident community of poor, African Americans. Tom is the Director of the Miami University Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine, and through the Center, has been working with service agencies to support the residents in resisting displacement.

In the Spring Semester of 2010, Tom and I co-taught a design studio in Over-the-Rhine. Its purpose was to explore issues of urban sustainability - to look at alternative models of development that would include not just environmental and economic sustainability (which the City and its friendly developers don't even do at the moment), but to look also at social and cultural sustainability - that would allow and encourage development, but in a way that would safeguard the life and culture of its existing residents.

The 30 or so students in the program were self-selected. That is, they had chosen this particular project out of a range of available options. Since the goals and expectations of the project had been clearly articulated in the original course description, Tom and I naturally assumed that the students would be highly motivated about the need for greater sustainability. We assumed, further, that as the upcoming generation of leaders, they would be keen to learn as much as they could about problems of global warming, climate change and their environmental design consequences, since it was they who would have to be largely responsible for finding solutions. These were assumptions that were to be called into question as the project proceeded.

 To download the PDF  click here

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