Photo by Hannah Busing

Want to help tackle social injustice through architecture as the medium? Here are 3 ways to do it

2020 so far has been quite the experience, to say the least. For a few of us it has even felt as if the the world were coming to an end in these past few months alone. An array of natural disasters, a global pandemic, black lives matter, and other global tensions- you name it, it happened in 2020.

Amidst these chaotic events we’ve been directly dealing with issues related to social injustices and the ever-present battle for those seeking equal treatment and rights. As architects, these issues are and should be of concern to us all, shaping the environment we operate and create in. Many in the industry are putting their part in to raise awareness on social issues, draw attention to those in need and provide a space for expression through design. We have listed below a couple of design competitions aimed at tackling social matters and encourage you to bask in the creativity of the designs submitted whilst also getting informed on current social problems.

1. HEALING : Alternative Designs for Healing Cities

Already many are seeing what life is like in the aftermath of a global pandemic. This particular competition encourages designers to share their visions for the future and ideas on how to carry on and improve the urban lifestyle in a post-coronavirus society. Issues are identified, solutions are proposed, and “HEALING” allows for any and all to feel hopeful for the future in hard and confusing times.

2. Women in Architecture and Construction Award | Middle East and North Africa | Tamayouz Excellence Award 2020

This award recognizes and congratulates women who have made contributions to architectural development around the Near East and North Africa. This award is particularly admirable, as it highlights the successes of creative and successful women working in male-dominated fields. Not only this, but it also draws attention to positive changes being made in the architecture and construction worlds of North Africa and the Middle East.

3. Hip Hop Architecture Competition

Lastly, we have added Hip Hop Architecture that greatly emphasizes racial injustices faced by African Americans. The competition calls on people to submit drawings, songs, poems, products and various other mediums that display a “Just City” – a utopian city with defeated and dismantled racism. This is a vision utterly worth aspiring for, and the competition feels especially important in the context of the ongoing protests against racial discrimination and police brutality.

All of these competitions shed light on different issues, and celebrate those who have worked hard to battle them. In times of confusion and uncertainty for the future, it is essential we stay positive, determined and driven, as well as empathetic and understanding of those around us. We encourage you to stay informed, keep creating, and perhaps even take a plunge in one of these competitions to make a change.



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