Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
In an age when housing is a right that many are not afforded, the rush to provide habitable environments prompts a standard and uninformed response in the provision of basic shelter. Quality is forsaken in the quest for quantity. It has become apparent that both architects as well as the individuals to be housed are sidelined in the production of affordable houses. Thus the social responsibility of architects to emerge as public representatives is now apparent. Holistic interventions are required to create and improve the social, cultural and physical environment for communities, so that development may occur responsibly and sustainably. Recent policies and change in governmental trends have emerged to bring the focus back to human need and want, including the professional spectrum, such as architects, in the provision of suitable housing alternatives. This paper serves to identify the trends and processes at work in the current housing processes of South Africa, and proposes guidelines for suitable architectural intervention in this area of demand.
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