High Stakes

Everything was on the table at a recent conclave involving members of The Architecture Lobby’s Green New Deal Working Group and the Cooper Climate Coalition—not least the future of the architectural profession itself. Presentations (one from each group) were wide-ranging and spanned themes of pedagogy, ecological justice, labor, and class struggle. A remark by the Working Group’s Ryan Ludwig about the agency of architects summed up the stakes: “We need to reimagine our role as architects more along the lines of being political actors.” His colleague Elisa Iturbe drew out some of the implications of this realignment. For one, architects might develop a better understanding of the precarity that characterizes their work. Iturbe then moved from precarity to sustainability, sounding an existential note: “The climate crisis makes our work within the building industry untenable.”

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