Can Designers Improve Life in Non-Formal Cities?
America’s design culture has shifted toward efforts to improve social and environmental conditions. Helping the disadvantaged entails risks of top-down power relationships and the ignorance of outsiders. To avoid this, designers in this issue have worked at small scales in collaboration with the people affected by their projects. The need for attention to the urban poor is increasing drastically with both relentless Third World urbanization and a lack of adequate land and housing for the one-billion additional slum dwellers projected to exist by 2020.