Mimi Zeiger

Critic, editor, curator and instigator.

It’s hard to believe that it was only last month that Robert Ivy, executive vice president and CEO of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), pledged the national organisation and its membership to working with president-elect Donald Trump.

Issued just days after the election, the tone-deaf timing of the obsequious memo provoked reactions from The Architecture Lobby, critic Michael Sorkin and Equity in Architecture (among others), who rejected the AIA’s stance as politically representative of professional architects. Read More …

Should architects design for torture? Of course not. The answer seems so clear, so unequivocally in line with the contemporary image of the architect as a just shaper of the society, a creative world citizen serving both client and public.

When we switch the question around, however, and ask if architects should curtail their involvement in designing certain spaces associated with prisons, specifically spaces intended for execution and prolonged solitary confinement, the answer becomes murky. Client-side alliances and post-occupancy reporting complicate the architect’s societal duty. Such restriction asks architects to take an ethical and human rights stance on ongoing practices that could be considered out of their control.

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