Residential design affecting dimensions of equity
Paper i proceeding, 2016
ABSTRACT: In Sweden social sustainability perspectives on housing design are rare, this strikes the group of weaker households. Due to the present housing shortage a dwelling providing a qualitative space for every-day life is not a realistic alternative for many households. The groups of households that not have the economical strength to involve in the housing market have little power to change their residential situation. The housing market focus on the limited group of buyers and the alternative, the rental apartment, implies years of abeyance in a que-system to get hold of an apartment. Meanwhile the on going demographic transformation challenges existing residential design and the design practice in turn tends to employ a narrow perspective on household constructions and residential use.
The research work is focused on residential usability (flexibility) and how this can affect social sustainability dimensions in a residential situation. It also focuses on how social sustainability issues can be activated into the practice of residential floor plan design. The methodological approach is based on a mixed method research where qualitative, empirical studies and research by design are employed. The work embrace a theoretical perspective based on assumptions from Schneider and Till. Findings from the research show that flexibility in residential design represents an important factor in the realisation of a sustainable society. A salient finding is that flexible space can provide more equitable residential solutions as the extended spatial capacity can provide qualitative residential situations for diverse households during a residential process. This paper concentrates on the magnitude of flexible space as an agent for the dimension of equity, presenting parts of the work with empirical studies.
The continuing research intends to delve deeper into the question of residential usability and social sustainability from the perspective of time and the residential process.