Going to a Charette

As some of you know, I'm a big fan of hybrid civic-participation/professional genres. I am especially interested in how charettes seem to construct a paralogic (negotiated, temporary), while reifying some role distinction (public/professional, expert/needy).

I'll be going to an affordable low-income housing charette today at the Plains Art Museum. It's a two-hour design session with "architects, designers, builders, students, and community leaders and creatives." I am worried about them not including actual low-income residents as participants (after all, they are the ones who might actually live in these houses). What intrigues me about this session is where it is being held. The Plains Art Museum has had a display of affordable/modular housing--really more of a design exhibit. The idea of living space as spectacle has gained quite a bit of currency, and the notion that the "double-wide" shares space with Mary Cassatt and Luis Jiminez is quite a shift (not unprecedented, as shown by Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian, and similar displays in other museums).

I'll try to take some pics and blog about it later.

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