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Advocacy and Engagement with the Territory

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Way Beyond Bigness

Author: Neeraj Bhatia

Date: 2023

Editor/ Author:
Derek Hoeferlin

Publisher: AR+D


“As architecture increasingly interfaces with the scale of urbanism, architects are confronted with how to reconcile forms of control, inherent in any act of design, with a pluralistic series of subjects that are, and should remain, incontrollable. If we understand territory as an expression of forms of control between people and environment, when we encounter the scale of territorial design, the ramifications of such control become more invisible, impactful, and potentially dangerous. Participation in the design process has been a key mechanism for citizens to gain a voice and agency in developing the final design, but have these venues yielded meaningful forms of action? My contention is that at the intersection of participation in the design process (collaboration) and catalyzing these designs into material form (action) is the production of advocacy and future stewardship—critical components to having a citizenry engaged with their environment. How we enlist diverse voices into the design of the extra extra large needs to be reconsidered to gain transparency, empathy, and ultimately, have more meaningful impact.”

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