Rise Up, Fly-Over

“Architecture’s responsibility should extend beyond our own labor as architects. We must think about both the users of the final product and the craftspeople who build projects.” — Patricia Acevedo Fuentes, 2021 Bush Fellow

This was the core message of South Dakota State University’s Building Arts and Labor Symposium, a day-long exploration of the industry’s relationship (or lack thereof) to the individuals most affected by the design, build, and completion of architectural projects. The symposium built on the practice and scholarly work of Jessica Garcia Fritz and Federico Garcia Lammers of LAB_OR, which examines architectural contract documents as a guide to understanding architecture’s relationship to its stakeholders. Most of the participants—including a union leader, a professor, a fellow, and a community advocate—were South Dakota–based, and spoke passionately about the need for a re-ordering of architectural practice in the Great Plains.

Peggy Deamer, Professor Emerita of Yale Architecture, began the symposium with a keynote focusing on labor and architectu…

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