I was recently asked by archinect editor Nam Handerson to write an op-ed piece. The op-ed, titled The Public Image(s) of Architecture, is now published on their website.
The argument is that one of the key ways for architects to become involved in politics is to create images that communicate potential scenarios for particular political, social, cultural, and/or environmental issues. It also argues that now is a great moment for designers to become involved in politics and help steer conversations regarding potential public works agendas that may come about as part of the economic recovery. How can we argue that economic recovery be more than just a bailout for those companies that are failing and that it can be an opportunity to re-invest in public needs such as infrastructure, affordable housing, education, sustainable practices, etc.?
Since people are looking for change, let's provide the images that can provoke the spirit of how that change can manifest itself in the physical environment.
The op-ed is purposely ambiguous on the nature of what the images can be, in content and form, because I think that they can be almost anything--utopian, dystopian (as a way of demonstrating what could happen if the status quo continues), and can operate at any scale--be it your street, your neighborhood, your city, your nation, or our world.