What’s our social responsibility in architecture?

Social and ecological challenges, such as the climate crisis, demographic change and housing shortage due to increasing urbanization have led to a change of the professional profile of architects and urban planners over the last decades. Today, we are no longer just service providers and contractors, but initiators, developers and facilitators who act “simultaneously globally, locally integrated and socially committed” (Anh-Linh Ngo, ARCH+).

In the context of AJA 2020 on the topic of Update Architektur!, we raise the question of our architecture’s social responsibility and aim to find out how our changed professional profile affects architectural practice. How do we design sustainable and socially responsible buildings, neighborhoods and regions? And do we accordingly shape planning processes for such an environment in an inclusive way? For example, how equally, do women and men work?

Contributions to these questions are provided, on the one hand, by the precise investigation of regions and cities facing challenges, as in the research project “Alltagsversorgung im ländlichen Raum” at the chair of Prof. Mark Michaeli, and on the other hand by the development of new concepts and ideas, as in the design project “Mix it Up!” at the chair of Prof. Francis Kéré or in Tanja Gerum’s master thesis “Urban Living Lab” with Prof. Benedikt Boucsein. The research project “Frauen in der Architektur” at the professorships of Prof. Hermann Kaufmann, Prof. Susanne Ihsen (†) and Prof. Paula-Irene Villa Braslavsky explores the gender-related structural drop-out, while the seminar “Geschlechterdiskurse in Bauten, Bildern und Texten” at the professorship of Prof. Dietrich Erben examines theoretical topics on gender-equal architectural practice.
Anna-Maria from the #AJA20Team

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