chapter  2
Whose Place is This?
Pages 15

Ownership has been challenged within and among communities throughout human history. Buildings embody the dreams, compromises, mandates, science, and politics of a diverse cast of characters. This complexity is evident in the story of Pruitt-Igoe, a famous, failed, public project, thirty-three high-rise apartment blocks, in which after two decades no one wanted to live. There have been disputes over territory on Martha's Vineyard, as there have been in most parts of the globe. Like other animals, humans identify their territory. Animals need territory for safety, for propagation, and for securing food. They claim territory through biologic mechanisms, such as urinating. One way people express both themselves and their ownership of places is by adding their own personal touches. Placemaking is a complex social process. Participatory design processes, which include the client, the potential users, and the future users in the design, have important roles in giving the designer accurate information and helping people achieve agency over place.