(Re) Inventing the (Non) role of designers in low-income housing production in the developing world: A case study in Nigeria

Babatunde Jaiyeoba, Abimbola Asojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traditionally building houses was a common place activity that involved the family and community. It reflected the socio-cultural organization of the society. Today, every human activity including housing has become commercialized. In fact houses have become products in the market place. It involves a chain of professionals all contributing to seemingly solve the housing problem according to a point of view. Another extreme point of view suggests that professional involvement in industrialized housing provision guarantees the problem continues to exist. The fact on ground in the developing world including Nigeria is that many more people still provide housing for themselves. This is even truer for low-income people. In many places including urban areas, poor people continue to build houses without public and institutional support. Governments seem to have lost initiative by providing "affordable" houses rather than the earlier "low cost" or "low income" houses. This paper thus emanates from a larger study to understand how poor people build without government support and conceive low income housing as socially produced. It studies low-income housing through the lens of Henri Lefebvres theory of space. The study examined the people, the houses produced and the processes adopted while situating all in the social context. The participants including level of professional participation were also examined. The paper presents the findings in this case and makes recommendations on how designers can participate in this people's process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Architectonic, Spatial, and Environmental Design
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2015


  • Developing world
  • Housing
  • Low-income


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