What is Architectural Democracy
A research and design lab that explores the relationship between architecture and democracy to make cities more understandable to all stakeholders.
We either sleepwalk our way to automated democracy and isolation or we develop tools for us to plan cities and communities for the kind of people we want to become.
Architectural Democracy started as an academic research in Finland 10 years ago. The term was coined by Pedro Aibéo, proposing a framework of the relationships between architecture and democracy for all stakeholders to better understand the complexity of cities and thus to participate more actively in the planning decisions that affect their lives.
Based on growing interest, active affiliations globally, and a track record of collaborations, Architectural Democracy is now considered a nascent movement, an informal academic discipline, encompassing service architecture and has its own developments. Aibéo & team provide leadership, but by no means is there a centralised doctrine.
We can have densification without compromise via deep engagement
Our métier is early stage gamified parametric design
The purpose of Architectural Democracy
The purpose of Architectural Democracy is to improve resident well being and economic outcomes from both new build and regeneration projects. An adjacent purpose is to reduce social and economic risk for planners and developers. To achieve this we identify for residents the problem of passivity and isolation, and identify directions for constructive engagement that informs planners, developers and other decision-makers. Our main tools are early stage parametrized and gamified participatory urban planning tools.
Architectural Democracy is not ideological. Informed participation is more effective if ideological constraints are avoided and a better balance of decision-making is pursued. This will reflect needs as well as aspirations, and will result in higher wellbeing, economic efficiency, sustainability, etc.
Just as people and institutions in a controlled society don’t know how a democracy works and responds to citizen input, both residents and city planners have imperfect models of participation. We simply do not know how to interact. Architectural Democracy has experience in research, gamification and other forms of engagement.
The core: bigger ideas and collaborations
Aibéo and partners, constitute a design collective to create ideas for larger collaborations, provide storytelling, stakeholder engagement and advocacy expertise. Architectural Democracy has secured academic, foundation sponsorships, and prestigious invitations. Although we are asked to provide services, the ArcDem team has not settled on a business model. Our current focus is building ArcDem’s convening power to create new and more significant collaborations.
Aibéo is an internationally awarded Architect (MSc) and Civil Engineer (MSc) with over 50 buildings built in 18 countries. He is also a Vis. Ass. Prof. at UNAM University, Mexico and at Wuhan University of Technology, China. He is the founder of Architectural Democracy.
Mark's work in public advocacy has led him into sectors where planning policy has been controversial. He has created large scale engagement programs for clients in the US, UK and Venezuela and in Finland. Mark is co-founder of N2 Comms in Helsinki and a Partner in Architectural Democracy.
Hugo has published extensively, for example at the National Geographic, most noticeable around his "Morphological Residual Model". He is doing ground-breaking work around photogrammetry.
Gabriel is an expert on IT and AI. Most noticeable he has built up a unique approach for real time stereo photogrammetry that was sponsored by Google. He is affiliated with the University of Coimbra.
Rolf is a digital media expert. With works ranging from Architecture, theater and the European Space Agency. He is affiliated with the Erfurt University.
Mauricio is an IT developer. Long experience with the makers culture
With the support of
What people say
Media artist / Architect
Pedro Aibéo’s project on Architectural Democracy is ground breaking. Mr. Aibéo has the experience to take this research to levels that will prove useful for others. His practice in architecture and art projects gives him an advantage many architects don’t have. I look forward to seeing his phD research being completed, contributing to the research of architecture, art and technology.
Pedro Aibéo's doctoral research has been supported by a hands-on parallel practice based approach with several other international institutions. Since 2015, several other Universities have required Mr. Aibéo’s presence to lecture around the topics of “Architectural Democracy”.
Glasgow School of Art
I found it one of the most valuable guest lectures I've been to in GSA so far.
Thanks for the guest lecture in Metropolia university. We got to know new insights from your lecture. The interaction was highly engaging and interesting.
“It shows a matured, critical and higher level thinking of the problem”
27th August 2014
Prof. Lauri Koskela
University of Huddersfield
“a bold and interesting topic!”