Architecture, society, democracy
Architecture is a field that touches on many social and political issues.
The subjects that have or had MIXD’s attention in the past are listed below. That they are topics that have been studied over a long period of time, sometimes with foresight and often with intensity, is shown by the material on display and by the period of time these projects have received attention.
The subjects also often fall outside the narrow definition of architecture but have a more complementary, contextual position.
In the carousel (under the logo in the top left), all themes are shown consecutively. By clicking on a theme you can find the corresponding article on that theme, themes without articles are at the bottom of the overview list below and articles will follow later.
A major theme of modern, Western* social/financial planning is exploitative ‘short-term strategy’. Despite the benefit of disconnecting short-term linkages (no ‘skin in the game’), ownership (and additional responsibilities such as cause and blame) of problems (e.g. junk mortgages), this is a policy that can disproportionately increase problems (and associated costs) in the long term (social disruption).
It contrasts with the concept of ‘Karma’, the idea that all actions leave indelible marks. Architecture has more in common with the latter idea, i.e. building in such a way that the investment yields something that retains its value over a long period of time.
Although architectural practice is not a policy instrument and good policy is not yet a solution (“you can’t live in bullshit”), both are necessary for a quality architectural solution (e.g. affordable, beautiful, good-quality buildings in a sustainable environment).
To make good architecture, good policy is a prerequisite. To achieve good general policy, -in my view of democracy- citizens and professionals should be informed about and speak out about that policy more often.
That vision obliges. Hence the list below.
*Other than western countries may also behave according to this description but I know too little about underlying motives and social/financial and cultural differences to include this group as well.