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    Yale School of Architecture students respond to AIA's comments in support of President-elect Donald Trump

    Jamie Evelyn Goldsborough
    Nov 15, '16 7:52 PM EST

    I'd like to re-post / share the open letter from the Yale University School of Architecture students as they respond to the AIA in support of Trump + administration. Original post via Architect here.

     

    On November 9, 2016, the American Institute of Architects resigned itself to a cowardly position of economic and political subservience with its support of President-elect Trump. The AIA’s refusal to take a principled stance on an incoming administration that galvanized support through hatred, divisiveness, and fear constitutes an abdication of its self-proclaimed responsibility to speak on behalf of architects and a contradiction of its own stated beliefs.

    We, the undersigned students of the Yale School of Architecture, unequivocally denounce the AIA’s endorsement of the new status quo. For too long, our profession has been complicit in giving form to landscapes of inequality and discrimination, and has itself been plagued by a history of racial and gender inequity. The AIA’s immediate and unquestioning pandering to the Trump administration threatens a continuation of our troubled past and demonstrates a willingness to pursue financial gain at the expense of our values. With the promise of renewed federal investment in infrastructure, the position of architects as conscientious stewards of the built environment has never been more important.

    We believe it is paramount for the AIA to protect and maintain the integrity, quality, and security of the built and natural environments at every level. The organization has long recognized climate change and touted “energy conservation... as well as aggressive development and harvesting of energy from renewable sources.”1 It professes a commitment to “the promotion of human and civil rights, the universal respect for human dignity, and the unbiased treatment of all persons in employment.”2 It claims to promote “design that engenders greater community health [as a] way to not only save costs, but to enhance the lives of individuals.”3 These principles must not bend to opportunism in the face of a new administration. If we are to unite in the best interest of America’s future, it will be with our values intact.

    We cannot afford to relinquish the agency of our craft to those who would
    use it for self-serving political gain. We have an ethical responsibility not to erect walls that divide, but to lay the foundation for a more unified, just, and safe society.

    We stand firmly behind the following principles, which we believe are greatly imperiled by the position of the AIA:

    We believe in the social value of architecture and the moral agency of architects. We believe human values are more important than material values.
    We will work to mitigate the effects of the built environment on climate change. We will resist individuals, institutions, and systems that exploit people and land for power and profit.

    We will continue our commitment to promoting equality and diversity within
    the profession.
    We will exclusively contribute to the creation of a built environment that is equal, just, and safe for all people.

    Signed,

    Students of the Yale School of Architecture

    • Azza Aboualam
    • Jared Abraham
    • Caroline Acheatel
    • Daphne Agosin
    • Melinda Agron
    • Tim Steffen Altenhof
    • Ava Amirahmadi
    • Diego Arango
    • Gwyneth Bacon-Shone
    • Caitlin Baiada
    • Lani Mei Berry
    • Elaina Diane Berkowitz
    • Heather Bizon
    • Matthew Bohne
    • A. Bonna
    • Nino Boornazian 
    • Dimitri Brand
    • David Bransfield
    • Davis Butner
    • Denisa Buzatu
    • Gina Cannistra
    • Gregory Cartelli
    • Brian Cash
    • Lila Jiang Chen
    • Tianhui Michelle Chen
    • James Coleman
    • Timon Covelli
    • Karen Delgado
    • Ian Donaldson
    • Patrick Doty
    • Jamie Edindjiklian
    • Z F
    • Valeria Flores
    • Spencer Fried
    • Pik-Tone Fung
    • Cathryn Garcia-Menocal
    • Kerry Garikes
    • Christian Golden
    • Orli Hakanoglu
    • Jacqueline Hall
    • Claire Haugh
    • Gary Huafan He
    • Wes Hiatt
    • Pearl Ho
    • John Holden
    • Lily Hou
    • Anne Lawren Householder 
    • Hunter Trombly Hughes
    • Ryan Hughes
    • Alexis Hyman
    • Amanda L. Iglesias
    • Theodossis Issaias
    • Jeremy Jacinth
    • Ha Min Joo
    • Samantha Monge
    • Kaser Harper Keehn
    • Sam King
    • Hyeree Kwak
    • Justin Kitsing Lai
    • David Langdon
    • Menglan Li
    • J. Lipson
    • Paul Lorenz
    • Martin Man
    • Suzanne Marchelewicz
    • Margaret Marsh
    • Daniel Sheppard
    • Marty Larkin McCann
    • Stephen McNamara
    • Tess McNamara Stephanie Medel
    • Adam Meis
    • Nicholas Miller
    • Jonathan Molloy
    • Rashid Muydinov
    • Cecily Ng
    • Hannah Novack
    • Benjamin Olsen
    • Laura Y. Quan
    • Paul Lloyd Rasmussen
    • Anna Rothschild
    • Meghan Royster
    • Melissa Russell
    • Nadeen Safa
    • Evan Sale
    • Miguel Sanchez Enkerlin
    • Amra Saric
    • Jacob Schaffert
    • Gordon Schissler
    • Surry Schlabs
    • Danielle Schwartz
    • Madison Sembler
    • Misha Semenov
    • Shivani Shedde
    • Abigail Smith
    • Charlotte Smith
    • Gentley Smith
    • Jeongyoon Song
    • Alexander Stagge
    • Katherine R. Stege
    • Charles Steyer
    • Luke Studebaker
    • Colin Sutherland
    • Phineas Taylor-Webb
    • Pierre Thach
    • Alex Thompson
    • Georgia Todd
    • Christine Tran
    • Maggie Tsang
    • Julie Turgeon
    • David Turturo
    • Daniel Unterman
    • Matthew Wagstaffe
    • Melissa Weigel
    • Dylan Weiser
    • Daniel Whitcombe
    • Francesca Xavier
    • Katrina Xiaoyue
    • Yin Robert Yoos
    • Samuels Zeif
    • Ethan Zisson
    • Alison Zuccaro
    • Matthew Zuckerman


     
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A collection of perspectives, rememberings, and thoughts as a dual Master of Architecture + Master of Arts Design Criticism graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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