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Forum: A historical context for theories underpinning the production of the built environment

Clarke, Linda and Janssen, Jorn (2008) Forum: A historical context for theories underpinning the production of the built environment. Building Research and Information, 36 (6). pp. 659-662. ISSN 0961-3218

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09613210802387659


The quest for 'theory' in the Building Research & Information special issue 'Developing Theories of the Built Environment' (36(3) 2008) needs to be understood within a larger historical and political context. It would benefit from engaging with a rich vein of work on the production of the built environment over the last 30 years. Theory inherently develops in the political context in which it exists; if it fails to do so, it may be dangerous. This commentary traces the intellectual underpinning concerned with understanding the process of change in the built environment, particularly the result of changes in social relations and the social labour process. The production of the built environment is seen as encompassing all the social processes concerned with producing the built environment, built products, buildings and infrastructure, and out of natural resources, whilst consumption is applied to all the processes involved in consuming these, including the well-being of tenants. And between these are situated the processes of exchange, distribution, and circulation, involving complex webs of relations between developers, builders, and landlords and landowners. The challenge is not only to engage and learn from past work, but also to state explicitly what is currently driving the need for a theory (or set of theories).

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Westminster Business School
ID Code:6046
Deposited On:19 Feb 2009 10:24
Last Modified:17 Oct 2011 13:03

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