Hamish’s doctoral thesis explored how games can be used to work alongside those living in slums to empower them to contribute to slum upgrading processes.
Hamish Beattie’s doctoral thesis explored how games can be used to work alongside those living in slums to empower them to contribute to slum upgrading processes.
Hamish, who completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Victoria University of Wellington before continuing on to his PhD, has pursued his interest in the democratisation of architecture by engaging communities in urban design processes.
“My research has focused on marginalised informal settlement communities in Delhi and Mumbai,” says Hamish.
“I’ve been looking at how these communities can engage with participatory urban design processes through a consideration of past, present, and future community experiences, reconciliation of dissimilar assumptions, generation of social capital building, and design responses to pressing community problems to prime participants for further long-term design engagement processes.
“I looked into new digital media techniques, such as the development of bespoke architectural serious games, and how they can contribute practically to relieving some of the built environment’s most acute problems.”
Hamish carried out an experimental research programme consisting of digital tool design and community participatory design workshops.
He worked alongside the Bhalswa, Shanti Nagar, and Ghazipur communities, with the Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, a non-governmental organisation working for environmental justice with slum communities in New Delhi, and Apnalaya, a non-profit organisation working with the most marginalised slums in Mumbai.
Hamish’s research has been supervised by Professor Daniel Brown from the University’s Wellington School of Architecture and Dr Sara Kindon from the School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences.
“I’ve enjoyed having supervisors who are specialists in two different research areas. This has helped shape my unique research direction.”