Persona-fying Architecture: A developed methodological approach for participation
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Architecture and planning beyond sustainability (MPDSD), MSc
The participatory architecture approach fosters a democratic, inclusive, and empowering design process by involving local participants in crafting the built environment that reflects local social, cultural, and environmental landscapes. However, participatory processes may face challenges in effectively engaging with the local social reality, as there is often a lack of appropriate methods to study and understand it in architecture. Additionally, in some cases, it may not succeed in developing proposals or solutions based on local social knowledge and experience. In the quest to explore solutions to these challenges, I encountered the persona method used in the information technology field. The potential for its application in architecture inspired me, leading to research aimed at understanding its adaptability to suit participatory processes. The re-adaptation of the persona method into architecture started by investigating the participatory process and the challenges it faces in engaging with social reality and local experiences. Then, research was conducted on how the persona method is used in various research projects. The re-adapted persona method was developed theoretically and then tested in a workshop. The re-adapted persona method bridges the gap between urban social data and design practice by introducing a new model for managing participatory processes. This model utilizes earlystage data to inform the co-design process, concentrating on engaging local participants in envisioning spatial needs for constructed personas. The aim is for Architects to enter the design phase armed with these personas and a profound comprehension of social-spatial requirements.