arch-peace news and articles


The gap between space and politics. Politics affect architects. It’s time for architects to affect politics.

The name 'Architects for Peace' involves all aspects of city design. In this sense, we use 'architects' as a term common to all our areas of urban expertise with peace as our goal.

At Architects for Peace (A4P) we see the links between politics and space as too important to ignore.  Our political roots are embedded in the way the group was formed. We started up in response to Australian involvement in the 2003 Iraq bombing and occupation.

Eleanor Chapman, A4P former president, tells us that there is a real gap to fill between space and politics, especially in countries like Australia, where you might think we've got a pretty equitable society.

Built environment professionals are often reluctant to step into this gap – to get politically involved. They are a service industry and, in Eleanor’s view, there’s some fear of upsetting clients by airing one’s political views.

However, even in countries such as Australia, where there isn’t direct experience of conflict, major tensions do exist. Eleanor pointed out how the market-led approach in the global economy is creating cities of haves-and-have-nots – very much defined along geographic lines and along housing tenure lines.

The growing social-spatial inequalities that this is causing also points to why architects can’t afford to stay apolitical. It’s in part by doing so that we’ve let ourselves be side-lined from the housing market. That market has become dominated by private developers who are inherently motivated by the exchange value of homes and land, rather than their use value and social function.

Ever since its formation, A4P has aimed to fill in the gaps between politics and space by providing a platform to initiate discussion around urban, planning, architectural and environmental issues affecting our cities, people and the environment.

A4P strives to bring forward a well neglected discussion in our profession and that is the conversation around social justice in the built environment and design for peace.

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There are no clean wars, no positive outcomes from the destruction of lives, communities, cities, the environment and infrastructure.



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