Exploring Housing Conditions Through Children's Eyes
Palavras-chave:housing conditions, visual sociology, photo self-representation, photo elicitation, informal settlements.
This paper presents a methodology for exploring housing conditions through the perception of children who live in informal settlements, employing photography as the research tool. Informal housing is usually in a bad condition, affecting the health of users and often putting their lives at risk; but this is not always something users are aware of. In this sense, finding ways to make bad housing conditions visible can contribute to their improvement. With this in mind, this paper concerns children´s perception of their dwellings and how these observations and insights can contribute to improve quality of life in these impoverish areas. The research was conducted with children aged between 6 and 12 years old, living in informal settlements of the Southern periphery of Bogotá, Colombia. The findings confirm “old topics” regarding housing conditions and open up “new topics” as well; all of them defined by children's perceptions. In this sense, findings can help built environment practitioners and informal self-builders, understand how housing conditions impact children's health and wellbeing, and support their exploration of alternative housing solutions.
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