Architecture and Advocacy
Statistically, one’s zip code is the number-one factor determining a person’s lifespan, health, salary, and education. This Spatial Injustice is by design: Resources are unequally distributed in our built environment because architects, developers, and city planners have designed our cities on the backbone of racism and segregation. Additionally, BIPOC communities who experience these injustices often lack the power to influence development or create solutions in their own neighborhoods. The power dynamic is also by design: Members of marginalized communities are often excluded from design and decision-making processes by architects, planners, and developers.
Architecture and Advocacy (A+A) speaks to the social responsibility of architects and the power of communities to design their own spaces. A+A originates from the Comprehensive Diversity Initiative (CDI) collective. founded to stand up against injustices in the built environment and the industry. While empowering USC students to speak out on issues of discrimination, CDI leaders also began designing ways to use the architectural design process to build power in neighboring communities, with the knowledge that Los Angeles neighborhoods were designed on foundations of injustice. From segregation to redlining to evictions, and even pollution, as long as these foundations exist, our communities will not be free to pursue an opportunity on equal terms. They must be un-designed.
To learn more about Architecture and Advocacy visit architectureandadvocacy.org.
- Inspires local students to consider design professions as future careers and equips them with the skills to do so
- Increases representation of Black and Latinx people in professional design careers and college programs
- Emphasizes design as a tool for advancing equity and positive social change
- Create cost-free architecture workshops for K-12 students and their families
- Facilitate a community-driven design-build project
- Develop an ambassador program that builds relationships with communities
- Curate single-day workshops to engage with larger audiences in a variety of communities