Title: Site-Seeing: Constructing the ‘Creative Survey’

Authors: Carolyn Butterworth and Sam Vardy

In: Alternate Currents‘, Field:, 2.1, 125-137

Year: 2008

Abstract: This paper explores the role the site survey could play in developing architectural praxis where agency is shared at all stages with participatory diverse users. Even though the profession increasingly accepts that architecture is a relational construct rather than an object-based discipline, the site survey remains intransigent. New working practices are emerging that transform the later stages of the design process in architecture, through the creative participation of users, but the site survey remains unchanged, characterised by its focus on the physical, and its abstraction from the user. We discuss in detail the exclusionary nature of the normative site survey model and propose, with examples from our own work, the use of techniques from relational art practice that offer an alternate ‘creative survey’ model, which provokes new, potent and inclusive relationships between site, users and architect.