The two articles basically revolve around the practice of architecture and its relation and impact on humanity. The architectural industry is global industry which according to studies which have been conducted revolves around raking in huge profits. This culture that has prioritized making of huge sums of money from the practice seems to sideline other intended purposes of architecture. Architects are trained in various design principles which they utilize to come up with the various designs that the clients use. However, in most of the architect-client interactions, there exists a conflict between the aforementioned design principles and the requirements of the clients. This conflict has been established to overshadow the core value of architecture which in this case is to formulate designs that positively impacts on humanity. Basically, the pioneers of architecture had in mind, shelter, warmth, access to clean water and most off all places around which people can build their communities when they invented architecture (Angry Architect, 2014). However this has not been the case, most architectural practitioners formulate designs with little or no consideration of the main purposes architecture was invented for. This has raised a lot of criticism from scholars and human rights activists with claims that architectural companies have often caused harm to humanity. Architectural practitioners should conduct their work diligently considering humanity and ensuring that the core values of the practice are fully realized.
The two articles have resemblances as well as differences in their context. The two highlight about the rot in the architectural industry in the larger context. The two show how the architectural practitioners have diverted from the core values of the practice. The first article however is about a legal tussle between an architectural companies that sues a publishing company which exposes it for subjecting their workers to poor working conditions that results in death. The company takes the expose and defamation and sues for compensation from the publishing company (Caroline, 2015). The two press companies offer an apology to the architectural company. However, the tussle acts as an eye opener to the company, the public as well as the government. It culminates in donations by the company to champion the protection of labor rights and a commitment by the government of Qatar to ensure safe as well as fair working conditions among those working in the construction and other industries as well. The second article has a different story line. The turning point of architecture in this case was not orchestrated in a conflict filled pitch but rather a sobering moment. This came into being after the realization of the shocking turn architecture had taken disregarding humanity and the core values and instead embracing profit making and client pacification. The two articles both have a truth moment which in turn leads to a turning point.
The designing principles of architecture and the working plans should always prioritize humanity and the fundamental standards of the practice that were initially formulated. According to the international social responsibility standards, every profession should have a professional and ethics code that strictly outlines how the practice of the profession should protect and facilitate the progress of humankind. Architecture is no exception in this social responsibility standards. Architectures are responsible for the design of various structures in the world. The rule of the thumb in this with relation to the social standards is that all designed structures should offer maximum benefit to the human race with minimum degradations to humanity. However, in the past and as at the present, architects have often designed structures that have degraded and brought demeanor to the people. Architectural practitioners are people with a conscience and their job was designed to revamp the built environment for human kin (Angry Architect, 2015). However, in several occurrences, designs have been formulated that violate the dignity that is accorded to the human race. Super maximum prisons which have been used to provide solitary segregation to law breakers were designed by architects.
This indirect involvement of architects in the orchestration of human abuses is something that has long been assumed. Assumptions have been made that the only obligation that is attached to architects is ensuring the safety of people within the structures that are designed. However, assumptions are made that structures can be designed with a sole purpose of violating human rights. To some extent, some of this vices are done unknowingly to the practitioners since they have a presumption that theirs is only to design and leave the rest to the human right activists to deal with (Angry Architect, 2014)ss. The designing of detention camps and other structures used to torture people breaches the social responsibility standards which have been set upon all professions. Human rights are pertinent to every issue that surrounds human interactions.
Architectural practitioners should conduct their work diligently considering humanity and ensuring that the core values of the practice are fully realized. The ultimate purpose of every profession is to better the experience of people in the world. Therefore, architects should revise their code of ethics with an aim of ensuring that no spaces are left for architects to violate human rights indirectly using their designs. Each and every design should be done after a proper evaluation of the consequences it has on humanity. No architectural design should fall below the minimum decency level in the world. Each of the designs should always ensure that humanity continues to aim for the highest aspirations. With this considerations, the principle of socially responsible standards within professions will have been achieved.
- Angry Architect. (2014). Design like you give a damn: Five Reasons you should dive into
- Caroline, M. (2015). Zaha Hadid reaches settlement in Lawsuit against the New York Review of
books Martin Filler. The magazine of the American institute of Architects.