Journal Article

Architectural schools should be at the forefront of Social Innovation


Since the early 1990s, Social Innovation (SI) has developed as a field of research, with advancements being applied to management, entrepreneurship and policy-making. In exploring SI processes, we realize that aspects of them have much in common with the architectural design process, but there is little awareness of these processes in architectural practice or in architectural schools. One of the weaknesses of architects as a result of their training is a lack of skills and tools to manage effectively the social aspects of their projects. Architectural education typically focuses on the final product as a built form or a spatial design. This essay analyses the potential role of SI in user-centred architectural projects through a case study of the workshop “From Territory to Detail”, which was realised in rural Colombia. The workshop was aligned with Live Project’s educational model, which emphasises the importance of the social aspects of a project. The aim of the essay is to identify theories and models which will be of mutual benefit to architecture and SI, and to suggest a way forward for SI processes to be incorporated within architectural schools.

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Cuenca, Ruth
Canet, Juana
Gómez, Elena

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Architecture


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-08-23

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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