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Reflective Practice in Urban Design

Montague, LM (2013) Reflective Practice in Urban Design. In: Knowing (by) Designing, 22 May 2013 - 23 May 2013, Brussels, Belgium.

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Abstract

This paper presents part of a PhD that explores the ways in which theories in urban design influence the process of urban design, and the extent to which they may inform design decisions. The focus of the paper is the empirical stage of the research; the execution of a site evaluation, urban design framework and masterplan design for Croydon in London, a commentary recording that process, and the subsequent analysis of it. Reflection on that process and product appears to indicate that theory’s influence in the creative process of urban design is distinctive but subservient to a variety of other influences. Apparently, the more conceptual and strategic the stage of design, the more extensive and explicit theory’s influence is. Conversely, the more spatial and detailed the stage of design, the more tacit and fragmented theory’s involvement seems to be. It is often implicit, embedded within the guiding principles that the individual designer exercises when generating and evaluating ideas, evidenced in the thought processes and decisions that are made.

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