arch-peace news and articles


Valparaíso, puerto y montaña: un desafío [en] pendiente.

Image source: Verónica Maturana, Valparaiso 2014. 
WRITES: Beatriz Maturana

ABSTRACT/ "The following reflections are part of a seminar presented during the Sustainability Week (May, 2014), in the University of Chile. The seminar addressed the recent fire in Valparaíso, comparing it with the fire that affected part of the state of Victoria, Australia (February 7, 2009). Both fires are considered to be the most devastating events in the history of each country. The seminar worked with four questions, which helped guide the presentation and questioned certain premises. One of these premises was the notion that an urban scale issue can be solved at the housing level, which is a distorted use of the idea of sustainability. Comparing both cases, a notable issue is that both put an emphasis on housing solutions to address a much more critical problem, which was and still is a lack of planning."


La U. de Chile y la destrucción de Vicuña MacKenna 20: Conversación con el Arquitecto Miguel Lawner

The following article (in Spanish) discusses a controversial situation around the proposed demolition of a building of historic value (yet not declared heritage). This building belongs to the University of Chile, the most important public university in the country that as one of its principles, claims to be custodian of the history and heritage of the nation. Nevertheless, under the thin justification of "progress" and the satisfaction of the need for more space, the university is ready to demolish. The issue goes beyond the future of the building. It touches on values, it is about knowledge and understanding the importance of heritage and raises the question about to whom these buildings belong to (particularly when the "owner" is itself publicly owned).

La discusión en torno al nuevo proyecto para Vicuña Mackenna 20 (VM20), donde se propone la demolición del antiguo edificio, se ha manipulado al punto de crear la impresión de que solo pueden existen dos miradas, excluyentes la una de la otra.

El problema se nos presenta en la forma de dos bandos, o de una dicotomía artificial e intencionalmente impulsada. Por un lado, quienes están por la demolición, justifican esta en pos del "progreso" y de la necesidad de edificaciones para institutos y alumnos de la Universidad de Chile, hacia quienes la Universidad tiene deudas infraestructurales pendientes. Por otro lado, a quienes intentan salvar este edificio patrimonial (reconocido o no) se los demoniza haciéndolos parecer poco solidarios con las necesidades de los demás. Detrás de este discurso, existe otro incluso más perverso—un discurso ideológico y mutuamente excluyente con el que se supone que cada una de estas dos miradas se alinearían—. 
Fig. 1: uno de los patios de la Facultad de Arquitectura y Urbanismo. Edificios que Miguel Lawner rescató de ser demolidos.
Por supuesto que ni una ni otra posición puede ser tan estrecha. Extraña además que sea la Universidad, o sus representantes, los que en forma directa o indirecta utilicen este tipo de simplificaciones, las que son notorias por promover la ignorancia y la descalificación de quienes piensan en forma distinta.


Event series - Our Homes, All Right? (Volume 1) movie night,Thursday 21 May 2015.

Dear friends,

Since completing our Strategic Plan last year, we have been focused on working towards our fourth goal: 'stand up for quality affordable housing and the right to shelter'.

In collaboration with Friends of Public Housing Victoria, Architects for Peace invites you to a film night: Our Homes, All Right? (Volume 1) to discuss the issue of transfers in public housing to non-government housing providers and its effect on public housing tenants. We hope you can join us!

Date: Thursday 21 May 2015
Time: 7 - 10pm
Venue: North Carlton Railway Neighbourhood House
             20 Solly Avenue, Princes Hill VIC

Guest speaker Fiona Ross, spokesperson of Friends of Public Housing Victoria will present a talk on the effects of public housing transfers in Victoria. This will be followed by a screening of the film Rent Rebels / Mietrebellen (Germany) to look at gentrification and forced evictions in Berlin with public housing tenants fighting to stop the displacement of their community.

Light refreshments provided.
Gold coin donations are appreciated.

Check out our Facebook event here.
Entry is free, no RSVP required.

Event sponsor: ArchiTeam

We are looking forward to seeing you there!


Architects for Peace, Project #1. Workshop 21st March 2015


A4P Project #1 is underway for 2015, and we need your help!

On Saturday 21st March we'll be meeting to form working groups to plan for a Film Screening we'll be hosting. The films will address issues around affordable housing and the right to shelter, Goal 4 of our 2014-2018 Strategic Plan.

Can you assist us in planning this important first event for Architects for Peace?

The details for the workshop to Plan for the Film Screening are:

When: Saturday 21st March 2015
Time: 1pm- 4pm
Where: Curtain Place Gardens, followed by North Carlton Library

This workshop will provide opportunities to
- be a part of a working group in: fundraising; communications; and/ or event planning
- be part of a close knit and active team working toward a clear objective
- connect with long standing volunteers in the organisation with opportunities for mentoring

If you'd like to come along or to learn more, please register your interest at:

In the meantime, if you haven't already, please check out our Strategic Plan


Strategic Plan 2014-2018 now online!

Our Strategic Plan is now online and available to download here.

This plan represents an exciting new direction for A4P and will guide our operations over the next four years. Four key goals have been identified:

We are currently developing an Action Plan to work towards these goals through specific projects and are keen to hear from potential collaborators. Do you have an idea for an event, a campaign or a resource that you think might align with Architects for Peace values and goals? Would you like help to develop and implement your idea in collaboration with our team?

While we cannot fund projects, we can offer the skills of our team of volunteers, many with expertise in design, urban planning and construction, to help you realise your idea. We are interested in hearing from people from a range of backgrounds - not just the built environment - and a range of locations - not just Australia. If you are new to A4P, make sure you read through the plan first to familiarise yourself with our vision, mission and values. Please send enquiries and proposals to We look forward to hearing from you!