16 Pages

On consensus, equality, experts and good design: an interview with

ByRoberta Feldman, Henry Sanoff

Groups, action committees, offices and university chapters dedicated to advocacy plan-

ning emerged at several places all over United States. The conception of the designer as

an advocate for those sections of the population that had been excluded from planning

processes corresponded to the radical democratic idea of a politically aware public that

knows its needs and wishes. Planning issues were no longer accepted as merely techni-

cal questions but were proclaimed as political in themselves: professionals saw them-

selves as supporting communities in dealing with the spatial and political consequences

of planning decisions. This radical democratic approach to designing the built environ-

ment briefly flourished and later merged into a wide range of Community Design Cen-

ters, professionalizing and broadening these socially engaged planning practices.