Community Workshops: An Interactive Approach for Rural Housing Design through Peoples’ Participation | Vishal Jiwane | Nova Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Community Workshops: An Interactive Approach for Rural Housing Design through Peoples’ Participation

Arch Anamika Vishal Jiwane


Community workshop can be defined as an event organized to bring a group of people together to seek their opinions, extract their knowledge, and to solve the problems in a collaborative and creative environment. Peoples’ participation in such workshops can improve the built environment.  The research therefore focuses on enhancing the role of community workshops to strengthen the bondage among the different actors in the community housing design. To gain an insight into the designing of such workshops and their implementation for suitability with the community, a village in India was selected as a case for study and application. The socio-cultural, economic and the physical study of the selected village, different types of interactive workshops were outlined. These were mainly based on the skills, experience and knowledge of the villagers. The author of the paper, being an architect by profession tried to keep her influence to the minimum on the overall decision making process so that the outcomes derived would be more community responsive than architect influenced. During the workshops, the author was able to conclude that the workshops are the simplest and the easiest way of involving people to think for themselves. These can be made innovative to target the objectives of the architects without his/ her influential involvement. Age, gender, education, skills, exposure, culture, creativity and many other issues related to the villagers need a thorough study before framing these participatory activities. One of the most important lessons is that these workshops should be kept flexible for the on- site changes. Finally, it can be said that, ‘The role of architect in such workshops is situation specific and cannot be generalized’.

Keywords: community workshops, peoples’ participation, built environment, role of architects     

Full Text:



Abrams C. Man's Struggle for Shelter in an Urbanizing World. Michigan: M.I.T Press; 1966.

Alexander C.The search for beauty.

Alexander C. The production of houses. USA: Oxford University Press; 1985

Ann Widditsch. In: Creighton James. The public participation handbook: Making better decisions through citizen involvement. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 2005

Arnstein SR. A Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of the American Planning Association 35 (4): 216–224, retrieved 2010-06-12(1969).

Burns. Urban Experience: A People –Environment Perspective. In: Brown FE, Neary SJ, Symes MS. London: Routledge; 2003.

Chambers R. Participatory Rural appraisal (PRA): Challenges, Potentials and Paradigm. World development 1994; Vol.22, No.10, pp. 1437-1454.

Cornwall A, Jewekes R. What is participatory research? Department of Anthropology. SOAS. London: University of London;1995.

Creighton J. The public participation handbook: Making better decisions through citizen involvement. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 2005.

Fung A. Varieties of participation in complex Governance. Public Administration Review.

Habraken J. Supports: An Alternative to Mass Housing. London: Urban International Press; 1972.

Hamdi N.Housing without houses: Participation, Flexibility, Enablement. London: ITDG Publishing; New Edition 1991.

Hamdi N. Housing without Houses: Participation, Flexibility and Enablement. London: Intermediate Technology; 1995.

Hamdi N, Goethert R. Action Planning for Cities: A Guide to Community Practice. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons; 1997.

Henkel H, Stirrat R. Participation as spiritual duty; empowerment as secular subjection: ‘Participation: The New Tyranny ‘[Chapter 11]. In: Cooke Bill, Kothari Uma.2001.

Hurwitz. Urban Experience: A People –Environment Perspective. In: Brown F E, Neary S J, Symes M S. London: Routledge; 1975.

Rahnema M. 'Participation', in Sachs, W. (ed) The Development Dictionary: a guide to knowledge as power. London: Zed Press; 1992, pp.116-31

Rahnema M. Participatory development

Rivera Omarya.Participatory Process, Housing Concepts.

Sanoff H. Participatory Design: Theory & Techniques. Raleigh, N.C.: H. Sanoff; 1990.

Sarnoff H. Community participation methods in design and planning. New York: John Wiley & Sons; 2000.

Schouten, Moriarty. Background Paper “Beyond the Community” Community Water Supply Management. Delft IWSC. 10-21.In: Innovative Systems Design and Engineering.

Silverman R M. Caught in the middle: Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and the conflict between grassroots and instrumental forms of citizen participation: 2005.Community Development; 36(2): 35-51.

Thomas M, Thomas M.J. Enhancing Community Participation in Programs in Developing Countries. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal (DINF). Volume I. Bangalore: National Printing Press; 1999.

Tufte T, Mefalopulos P. Participatory Communication: A practical guide. Paper No. 170. Washington, DC: World Bank. 5-6. In: Participatory Development, 2009.

Tufte T, Mefalopulos P. Participatory communication: A practical guide; Paper No. 170. Washington, DC: World Bank.

Turner John FC. Housing as a verb. New York: Macmillan. 1972.

Turner John FC. Housing by people: Towards Autonomy in Building Environment. USA: Pantheon Books.1977.

Wates N, Knevitt C. Community Architecture: How people are creating their own environment. London: Penguin Books; 1987.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Nova Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences ISSN 2292-7913 (Online)Published by Nova Pub inc.

Nova Explore Publications
is a member of CrossRef.
DOI Prefix: 10.20286