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From Wealth to Well-being – A systems oriented design exploration of imagining alternatives in urban housing

Format: Papers, RSD9, Topic: Economics & Orgs

Palak Dudani

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) Norway


This paper argues that a Systems Oriented Design (SOD) view has the potential to articulate and materialise community centred notions of care and wellbeing when exploring alternatives in urban housing and alternative futures within complex systems. This is exemplified concerning urban housing in the Norwegian context and by developing and applying a Design-Analysis Framework to articulate the conceptualisation and potential of alternative near-futures of urban dwelling.

Presenting this SOD view, a conceptual housing model is visualised and materialised in the form of design artefacts and user-situated scenarios. These are drawn from a completed study centred on stakeholder views and literature reviews on policies and practices on housing while exploring speculative and futures design scenario building for the manifestation of potential alternatives.

This paper contributes to SOD by offering a Design-Analysis Framework; it offers an analytical and descriptive account of how this framework helps raise questions about the nature of urban housing, well-being, policy and practices of dwelling, community, and care.

Housing and well-being

Access to safe, quality, affordable housing – and supports necessary to maintain that housing constitutes one of the most basic and powerful social determinants of health and well-being. (Centre for Supportive Housing, 2014). In the social-democratic society of Norway, home-ownership as a mode of dwelling is promoted as it accounts for one of the primary ways of building welfare. While the asset-based treatment of housing supports this goal, housing trends suggest fewer citizens being able to become homeowners. (Oslo Kommune, 2019) Current systems dynamics mirror the ‘Success to Successful’ archetype which disproportionately affects poorer, immigrant and
young members of society, creating disadvantage in the short term and perpetuating vulnerabilities within these communities in the long term. (Sandlie and Gulbrandsen, 2017)

RSD9 alternatives in urban housing sketchnote




Citation Data

Author(s): Author: Palak Dudani
Title: From Wealth to Well-being – A systems oriented design exploration of imagining alternatives in urban housing
Published in: Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design
Article No.:
Symposium Dates:
First published: 4 October 2020
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