Within the field of architectural design, there are several theories about how architecture and design should, optimally, be implemented; two of these are the adaptive reuse theory and provisional composition theory. Adaptive reuse posits that out-of-use or non-functioning buildings can be best optimized by repurposing them for uses other than those for which they were originally constructed, thus reinventing them into entirely new spaces. Provisional composition, on the other hand, suggests that space and time are pre-existing entities and should be worked within, rather than re-manipulated and re-designed.
Francesca Lanz is a proponent of adaptive reuse; her main analytical claim is that the art of interior design has a greater purpose than merely working inside of an architectural space. Her question, put simply, is “Why do some European countries feel more autobiographical affinities to their built environment than others?” She makes use of the neo-positivist small-n design by analyzing two specific cases, and she collects qualitative data on whether the spaces are ‘incident places,’ ‘identity places,’ and/or locations of vast socio-historical change, to show that uncertainty of identity in a built environment can be best rectified by re-imagining the use for historical buildings.
In contrast, proponents of provisional composition, such as Warakanyaka, aim to make the claim that temporal boundaries should be deeply respected, not reworked. Warakanyaka also uses the small-n design, evaluating a single case: the redesign of waste distribution in the Jakarta neighborhood of Lokasari, using data such as geospatial and behavioral mapping to show how using existing gutter systems and neighborhood layouts could easily transform the area into a hub of urban glory.
These two schools of thought, and authors, are not in direct contradistinction to each other. While they disagree on the limitations of time and space in architectural design, they agree that urban spaces have the potential, and the responsibility, to be tremendously transformed for the better of a community, and that this is best studied through specific examples of public urban spaces. Lanz’s dichotomy of ‘incident vs. identity places’ may be a useful tool I can use to classify architectural spaces in my own research, while Warakanyaka’s contrasting opinion has shown me that I can build on this key debate between the two opposing theories—and perhaps find harmony between them.
 Lanz, Francesca. “Re-Inhabiting- Thoughts on the Contribution of Interior Architecture to Adaptive Intervention: People, Places and Identities.” Journal of Interior Design 43, no. 2 (June 1, 2018): 1–10. https://doi.org/ 10.1111/joid.12121.
 Warakanyaka, Agung Ayu Suci, and Andri Yatmo. “Understanding the Importance of Time in Interior Architectural Design and Method.” Sciences Humaines Et Sociales Web of Conferences Journal 41 (2018). https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/shsconf/20184104009.