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Participatory design, temporary structures and the appropriation of urban space by marginalised youth: the problem of the Odd Triangle

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The paper discusses the design and construction of a temporary structure in a neglected urban space. Researchers consulted and worked with members of a youth club in a deprived area of an English city to try to enable spatial appropriation through participatory design. It was found that age- and class-based relationships greatly constrained participants’ sense of appropriation. Participants did, however, appropriate the co-design process in enthusiastic ways centred on the transgression of adult norms. The article concludes with reflections on how constraints on marginalised youth agency can inhibit participatory approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)780-797
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Urban Design
Issue number5
Early online date10 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


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