Monday 23 February 2015

The third OIKONET conference on “Global Dwelling” will take place in Manchester, UK, September 23, 2016, hosted by the Grenfell-Baines Institute of Architecture, School of Art, Design and Fashion, University of Central Lancashire

OIKONET ( is a European project co-funded by the Executive Agency of Education, Audiovisual and Culture (EACEA) with the purpose of studying contemporary housing from a multidisciplinary and global perspective by encompassing the multiple dimensions which condition the forms of dwelling in today’s societies: architectural, urban, environmental, economic, cultural and social.

The first OIKONET conference was organized by La Salle School of Architecture in Barcelona, Spain, in September 2014; the second one by the Faculty of Architecture, Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava, Slovakia, in September 2015. This third conference will showcase the results obtained in the three years of activity of OIKONET intertwining research, pedagogy and community participation around the topic “Global Dwelling”. During this period OIKONET partners have been involved in the design and implementation of pedagogic and research activities which have brought together schools of architecture and planning, research groups, professional organizations and local administrations. This is reflected in the collaborative learning spaces and workshops, community-based projects and participatory actions carried out with the participation of architecture students, lecturers, researchers and citizens.

The recognition of the global dimension of dwelling in contemporary societies is based on the following assumptions:
  • The existence of common driving forces influencing the contemporary habitat in different cultures, societies and places, among others: gentrification, mobility, sustainability, and economic and social restructuring. 
  • The recognition that dwelling as a subject-matter inevitably brings together various scales, disciplines, and areas of expertise, including: architecture and urban planning, sociology and community psychology, economics and finance. 
  • The challenge of adopting inclusive approaches to identify housing needs and to find appropriate solutions with the joint participation of citizens and experts, community and local representatives, and political and economic organizations. 
In accordance with this approach to the notion of global dwelling, the third conference will examine the following three themes:

Theme 1: Sustainability of housing environments
The problem of sustainability has been widely recognised as a priority by governments, civil society and businesses across the world. The built environment is a key component of a sustainable development, and the need for sustainable housing environments and communities cannot be overemphasised given the increasing demand for waste minimisation, sustainable transport and renewable energy.

Papers submitted under this theme may address issues within one of these three realms:
  • Environmental (energy, air quality, health and wellbeing, resilience, waste minimisation). 
  • Social (inequality, welfare, housing conditions and transformations, gentrification). 
  • Economic (urban dynamics, affordable housing, social housing). 

Theme 2: Innovation in housing design and planning
Processes of housing design and production are increasingly more global due to the networking of knowledge, professionals and organizations. Innovative housing design solutions at the dwelling and neighbourhood levels are needed to respond to societal changes such as an ageing population, new living arrangements and lifestyles, and affordability.
Papers submitted under this theme may address housing design and planning approaches such as:
  • Compact cities. 
  • Large scale housing renovation. 
  • Mobility and accessibility. 
  • Domestic space design and organisation. 
  • Smart homes. 
  • Low-cost housing. 
  • Adaptable housing. 
  • Teaching housing innovation.

Theme 3: Participation in housing design and construction
During the last few decades, achieving the participation of citizens in the processes of housing design and construction has been an objective for professionals and policy makers in many countries around the world. Innovative pedagogical methods are required for students to acquire the skills they need to interact with non-professionals in participatory processes. Participatory design and construction processes such as co-housing can empower communities and enable them to participate in the design and construction of their living environment. Students and housing professionals can also benefit from international best practice in user participation implemented within educational and/or real life settings.

Papers submitted under this theme may address participatory housing design and construction approaches such as: 
  • Co-design. 
  • Co-housing. 
  • Resettlement. 
  • Communication tools and strategies. 
  • Integrative design approaches.
  • Urban management. 
  • Participatory design studios. 
  • Live projects.

Call for participation
We invite researchers, lecturers, design studio instructors, policy makers, practitioners and community leaders, involved in the research, teaching, design and provision of housing, from unit/building to urban and regional scales, to submit original papers and posters addressing one of the conference three themes and considering, among others, the following questions:
  1. What are the challenges facing sustainable housing environments and communities, globally? 
  2. What is the future of public rental housing and its affordability? 
  3. What are the alternatives to gentrification as driver of urban regeneration? 
  4. What are the lessons learned from mass housing renovations? 
  5. What are the standards that should shape future housing? 
  6. What should be changed in current architectural programmes to train architects how to interact with residents during the procurement processes of new housing?
  7. How can housing communities be mobilised and strategic alliances established in order to foster innovation in housing? 
  8. How can future participatory processes learn from past experiences? 
  9. What does “learning to dwell” mean in our contemporary world?