Tuning the Choir

Ten years of the Architecture Lobby have brought noise, melody, and everything in between.

To start a nonprofit, you need a very specific set of people, documents, and ideas: lawyers to draft articles of incorporation and tax-exempt status; a board of directors; and a document stating the mission, vision, and values of the organization. It can be a lengthy process, but the procedure to follow is clear. There are boxes to be checked and paperwork to be filed. The steps for building a movement—not just a nonprofit with actionable goals, but a means to bring about tangible, systemic change—are significantly less straightforward.

For the past ten years, the Architecture Lobby has functioned as a network of sorts, providing a way for those working in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, and planning to connect around a set of varied concerns, ranging from climate justice to unionization. A member-based organization with nearly 200 dues-paying members today, the Lobby puts forth its vision via a twelve-point manifesto whose declarations are as wide-ranging as the organization’s activities.

In its early days, the Lobby aimed its activities toward…

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