Transition Is Inevitable

Inside Citygroup’s sweltering, unconditioned gallery, Elisa Iturbe led participants in a folding tutorial. Following her lead, we turned the printed sheets into pocket-sized pamphlets, whose contents (and lack thereof) lent it a subversive, yet incomplete character. Its pages began half empty; together, we filled it in. The Architecture Lobby’s Green New Deal (GND) working group has been engaging with legislation, legislators, and broad histories of labor organization to bring the profession closer to a just energy transition. Taking steps towards veto power, collectivity, and a new building paradigm for architects – one that involves making less – was our agenda. A quote from the Climate Justice Alliance—“Transition is inevitable. Justice is not.”—grounded the group in its urgency. So did the phrase “We are fossil fuel workers,” a verbal admittance that architects are just as implicated as staffers at BP or Shell. But aiming for a future of regeneration, not extraction, is how the GND group is starting to redefine struggles in the design professions as worker strugg…

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