Since the beginning of time, Architects have had the role of defining, developing, and creating the public and private spaces that we live, work, and exist within. Your career and the role you want to fulfill is something that every architect and designer needs to figure out over time, and the access to design and create spaces and buildings does not happen overnight. Yet your contribution towards sustainable development can start whenever you decide to! More specifically, the United Nations has created the Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to define the ways that Architects can help with their vision for the future.
The United Nations defines these goals as follows, “The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet.”
BIG’s Bjarke Ingels views the fight for protecting the environment, as one that requires accepting the value that technological advancements can provide us. We, as Architects, must learn to work with all agents of change to facilitate the open dialogue and work in partnerships, which in turn can encourage authorities to make the regulations necessary to move forward.
According to RIBA, the role of an Architect is to create an impact via their work that “…extends beyond the physical structures he or she designs – architects are uniquely placed to influence how places are shaped, how they function and who they engage in the process. They have a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to ensure that this influence is positive.”
Some of the SDGs that Architects can focus on are the following:
1.) Human Rights (No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health, Quality Education, Clean Water, etc.)
2.) Labor Laws (Gender Equality, Decent Work, Industry Changes, Required Inequalities)
3.) Environment (Affordable Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities, Climate Action, Acquatic Life, etc.)
4.) Anti-Corruption and Bribery
In order to gain a better understanding of where your career may fit in with the United Nation’s SDGs, make sure you go over to the United Nation’s website. Always consider how your community is being limited or could be improved to provide a more stable standard of living, while preserving the environment.
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