Drawn from a lifetime’s experience of shared city-making from the bottom up, within rapidly expanding urban metabolisms in Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Kathmandu, West Africa and London, Loose Fit City is about the ways in which city residents can learn through making to engage with the dynamic process of creating their own city. It looks at the nature and processes involved in loosely fitting together elements made by different people at different scales and times, with different intentions, into a civic entity which is greater than the sum of its parts. It shows how bottom-up learning through making can create a more vibrant and democratic city than the more flattened, top-down, centrally planned, factory made version.

Loose Fit City provides a new take on the subject of architecture, defined as the study and practice of fitting together physical and cultural topography. It provides a comprehensive view of how the fourth dimension of time fits loosely together with the three spatial dimensions at different scales within the human horizon, so as to layer meaning and depth within the places and metabolism of the city fabric.

part One|85 pages


chapter One|19 pages

The Idea of Loose Fit

chapter Two|33 pages

Dimension and Fit

chapter Three|29 pages

The Remoteness of Mass Production and Planning

part Two|69 pages


chapter Four|33 pages

Exploring Loose Fit within the City: Survey and Intent

Architect as Detective and Storyteller

chapter Five|33 pages

Fabricating within the City: Process and Product

Architect as Maker

part Three|57 pages

Timely City-Making

chapter Seven|17 pages

Loose Fit City