Designing Sustainable Housing Using a User-Centred Approach: Paipe Case Study

Maryam Abbakyari, Amal Abuzeinab, Arinola Adefila, Timothy Whitehead, Muyiwa Oyinlola*, Adrian Pitts (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents a user-centred design method for developing prototype housing designs in the Paipe community of Abuja, Nigeria, addressing the challenges posed by rapid urbanisation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). UCD is a qualitative methodology that prioritises end users in the design process. This study employs qualitative methods to collect data through interviews, field surveys, and site analysis using a single case study. The UCD approach was used to develop a profile of residents and identify their needs and preferences. Thematic analysis of the data led to the creation of design specifications and prototype designs. Two design options were developed: a cluster design based on field survey observations and an enclosed modern design based on residents’ preferences. This study contends that user-centred design (UCD) is essential for sustainable housing provision in LMICs, aligning with the United Nations’ adequate-housing programme.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2496
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 by the authors.
Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
This article is an open access article
distributed under the terms and
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Attribution (CC BY) license (https://

Funding: The project is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering through the Frontiers of
Engineering for Development seed corn funding 2016


  • sustainable housing
  • informal settlement
  • prototype design
  • participatory design
  • adequate housing
  • bottle house
  • user-centred design


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