Future 50: Julia King 01.08.13

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Icon asked a dozen experts and practitioners to nominate the people they think are, in some way, shaping the future. The resulting list of global talent is a snapshot that shows how young designers and architects are pushing the boundaries of their disciplines and trying to change the world

"I think rapid urbanisation in developing countries poses one of the greatest challenges, and at the same time opportunities, for architects," says Julia King, an architect and urban researcher working on a PhD at London Metropolitan University. Supported by the Water Trust Foundation, her research on the architecture of rapid change and scarce resources looks at sharing and building technology for low-income housing in regularised settlements. "I work on sanitation, water and housing projects, mostly in peri-urban or disconnected conglomerations in and around Delhi," she explains. "The problem is that in emerging countries like India, the issues are so basic that architecture, in terms that are celebrated by the mainstream in the UK, are irrelevant. So, in this context I am interested in a practice of architecture that doesn't immediately result in a building." She is about to start construction on a housing model in a slum resettlement on the outskirts of Delhi that will build on an earlier sanitation infrastructure initiative.


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