1984 volume 11(4) pages 417 – 433
doi:10.1068/b110417

Cite as:
Darke J, 1984, "Architects and user requirements in public-sector housing: 3. Towards an adequate understanding of user requirements in housing" Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 11(4) 417 – 433

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Architects and user requirements in public-sector housing: 3. Towards an adequate understanding of user requirements in housing

J Darke

Received 15 February 1984; in revised form 9 July 1984

Abstract. In the previous two papers were examined the content and the source of architects' images of the users of public-sector housing schemes they had recently designed. In this concluding paper are made recommendations for change. Findings from interviews with occupiers show that existing procedures do not produce satisfactory schemes. It is suggested that architectural education and professional norms at present fail to penalise inadequate background research and knowledge. Furthermore, a loosely defined image of the users is operationally useful in that the architect's initial conjecture can be deemed to accord with requirements. Social research in the past has not met architects' need for in-depth understanding of building users, being positivistic, functionalistic, biased, and particularistic. Alternative approaches to social research are instanced, and further methods for architects to increase their understanding are suggested. In particular, user participation in design is advocated.

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