M. Grbic, Z. Lazovic, V. Djokic
Thursday 11 October 2018 by Libadmin2018


Information about informal Romani settlements housing are not found in books or archives. They are found “live”, in settlements. The intent of this paper is to point out that they represent a world of signals that can be detected through the methodological tools of observation and discussion with residents; also and therefore, to create guidelines for operational tools useful for an aware and contemporary design of Romani house.
The paper starts from the fact that including cultural components in projects that are meant for Romani housing should also include special spatial requests that refer to the enabling of the development of user’s cultural characteristic. In parallel, the context is completed by the choice that cultural plurality only represents a path to a reciprocal education through the exchange of cultural components whose diversity is accepted as if they were values and that the construction of an adequate physical space dedicated to Romani housing alludes that besides accepting differences (seen as values, not as a value that represents the essence of separation) they also need to be understood. It is in fact this type of treatment of culture that is making a key stride, which is a principal change of the approach to the term culture itself from a humanistic determination to an anthropological determination of the term. In the anthropological definition of the term, culture is not selective, it includes all human activities and elements of heritage; it is not elitist i.e. it is not a characteristic of a small group but of society as a whole and is neutral in value since even culture in the sense of the lifestyle as a whole of a people or a group is equally good. In this key the main hypothesis is that a Romani settlement represents a key source of information on Romani housing, and that it is therefore possible to obtain such information by observing the lifestyle within the settlement and in communicating with the residents of the settlements.
The paper will showcase a case study of a Romani settlement using a methodological apparatus that was inspired by the following aims: observe and talk/ask its concept and steps of research, as well as possible designing results that have been achieved in using such a procedure.
The purpose of the paper is seen in collecting and archiving findings on housing in Romani settlements, thus achieving a double effect: building bases that will allow good quality planning for the future of the Romani house and the settlement on one hand, and on the other hand their significance for the city and strengthening consciousness about them is intensified.

Keywords: informal Roma settlements, designing the Romani house, cultural diversity awareness, Belgrade, Serbia

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