Co-design in architectural practice: Impact of client involvement during self-construction experiences

Pierre Schwaiger 1 Clémentine Schelings 1 Stéphane Safin 2, 3 Catherine Elsen 1
2 SPE - Sociologie Psychologie Ergonomique
I3, une unité mixte de recherche CNRS (UMR 9217) - Institut interdisciplinaire de l’innovation
Abstract : This paper investigates how self-construction processes, considered as the utmost form of clients' involvement in the realm of building a family house, impact clients' and architects' interactions. The study of four cases (two involving "traditional" processes, two involving "self-built" processes) and the drawing of Experience Maps for each of them nurture reflections about satisfaction assessment, perceived quality and clients' integration to the architectural design process (potentially including co-design attitudes). It is widely accepted that designers and users are inextricably related in regard of both the design process and output. Designers have major impacts on the quality of the built environment, i.e. on the quality of life of many people. Designed artifacts, on the other hand, are meaningless unless endorsed by end-users (in power of taking ownership or rejecting them)[1]. These end-users are nowadays recognized as "owning the factual problem" [2] i.e. being experts of their own personal behaviors, experiences and issues. Research moreover points out that end-users are no longer willing to undergo the design process simply as external observers [3]: better informed, they expect to have their say all along the decision-making process, considering themselves as "part of the team" [4]. Acknowledging this evolution, disciplines such as product, service or software design progressively shifted from "usability" to "user-centered approaches" and eventually to "users-driven innovation" [5], while resources for participation such as "partic-ipatory design" or "co-creativity" and "co-design" also emerged, either in an institu-tionalized [6] or horizontal way [7]. In the field of architectural design, though, research shows that most architects rarely go beyond early conversational interactions to reach out to users' needs and expectations. Clients/architects' relationships have been investigated for decades [8; 9], and the analysis of their interactions offers provoking results: communication gaps largely subsist [4; 10; 11], limiting users' input to
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Pierre Schwaiger, Clémentine Schelings, Stéphane Safin, Catherine Elsen. Co-design in architectural practice: Impact of client involvement during self-construction experiences. IEA 2018 : 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association., Aug 2018, Florence, Italy. ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-96068-5_50⟩. ⟨hal-02086091⟩

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