The Challenge of Time-Based Design Strategies: Learning from Latin American incrementalism

De Castro Mazarro, Alejandro

The contribution of PREVI to architecture culture remains, in great part, in the expression that housing are not merely objects, but also the materialization of social processes that develop incrementally. The incorporation of time management in the design process, going beyond the time frame of the construction of housing itself, comes in diverging modalities: in a physical dimension, it happens by designing construction systems that could evolve over time along with family’s growth; in a social dimension, it relates to the qualification of a typology after a definition of family’s archetype, and its needs expanded and changed. In what follows I will look at several design-related strategies to understand the negotiations between objects and processes in this twofold approach to time management. This way be “incremental” design approaches that have dealt with time following two ruling principles that I call of “mutual help” and of “open supports.” Below, I develop examples and basic configurations of these archetypes, relating this way PREVI to its roots and stems. I believe that this characterization is useful to analyze and assess several projects undertaken in the quest to provide shelter for the masses and urban spaces that function for the poor, and it also helps us to identify other strategies dealing with similar problems involving the growth of housing.


  • thumnail for DE_CASTRO_MAZARRO__Alejandro_2015_Latin_American_Incrementalism.pdf DE_CASTRO_MAZARRO__Alejandro_2015_Latin_American_Incrementalism.pdf application/pdf 7.84 MB Download File

Also Published In

Carnem: Arquitectura en Crudo

More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Published Here
March 13, 2017