Architects Challenged to Look at the Bigger Picture

The annual conference of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) was held this year in Chicago June 26‒28.  Shaunacy Ferro, writer for fastcodesign.com, wrote an article about what was discussed on the second day of the conference during a panel discussion moderated by KCRW producer Frances Anderton. Panelists included Majora Carter, an urban revitalization strategist; Ellen Dunham-Jones, chair of the Congress for New Urbanism; Robin Guenther, principal at Perkins+Will; and Rachel Minnery, a disaster resiliency activist.  Frances Anderton initiated the panel discussion asking: “What do we mean by resilience, and how do we actually explain this notion to the public?”

Shaunacy highlighted in her article what the panelists thought were some of the greatest challenges facing today’s cities and suburbs:

Majora Carter, who founded an organization called Sustainable South Bronx in 2001, had an important message for architects: “It’s not just about the building. It is about the context that building is in… How is this going to fit in the larger picture of how a city lives and breathes and loves and works? Those are the things we need you to be saying.”  

Rachel Minnery’s words were directed to our society and necessary cultural and behavioral shift, “Inherently in the U.S., we have our boxes–We have our property lines, we’re individual property owners. We need to shift that from a culture of ‘I’ to a culture of ‘we.'”

Read More.

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