We have three immediate concrete demands:
- Regulation of working hours, pay and treatment: Paid overtime; the Living Wage for anyone working in an architectural office, from the cleaner to the director; a fair distribution of tasks; and a rejection of work-horse culture.
- No discrimination based on class, gender, ability or race: Meaningful representation in and across positions of power; no tokenism; no wage-gap based on nationality, residency-status or gender; and no university-snobbery. Not only must we abolish the discrimination of employees, but the discrimination of the people who are affected by our work.
- No demolition: Refusal of engagement when demolition has been preordained by the client. We must be vocal in arguing for an architecture which is not destructive; which means not submitting to the colonial, capitalist mindset of viewing estates as ‘brownfield’ sites.
Followed by our wider vision for the architectural profession:
- Transparency: No labelling of projects as ‘community-led’ when they are developer-driven; being honest about who has financed, and who has controlled, the project; publishing of viability studies; and publishing of company salary and fee structures.
- Long-term thinking: No building for future demolition, empty neighbourhoods and systemic pollution; and viability calculations and urban analysis that factors in social and environmental factors.
- A united professional conscience that abides by an ethical charter: We need to create safe workplaces in order to have a productive dialogue about what we are doing, and for who. As an industry we have more strength to face up to other pressures on development; if we organise we can say no to developers, planners, and profiteers.
- Design for people over profit: The profession should be centred on those who are most affected by what we build, rather than an imagined bottom line.