We have three immediate concrete demands:
- Regulation of working hours, pay and treatment: paid overtime, London Living Wage paid to anyone working in an architectural office from the cleaner to the director, distribute tasks more fairly, do not contribute to 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, no university-snobbery. There must be no discrimination for both employees and the people who live in the urban contexts we work within.
- No demolition: Refuse to engage in briefs where demolition has been pre-ordained by the client. We must be vocal in arguing for an architecture which is not destructive. Do not submit to the colonial, capitalist mindframe of viewing estates as brownfield or ripe for urban redevelopment and ‘improvement’.
Followed by our wider vision for the architectural profession:
- Transparency: don’t disguise schemes as community led when they are developer-driven, be up-front about where the money comes from and who has control, publish company pay data and fee structures. If compromises are to be honestly made then all the information has to be on the table.
- Long-term thinking: don’t build for future demolition, empty neighbourhoods and systemic pollution. Viability calculations and diagrammatic urban critique (mapping transport connections and ground-floor uses) are meaningless assessments of neighbourhoods that don’t factor in the things that make cities home.
- A united professional conscience that abides by an ethical charter: 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. We need to create workplace safety in order to have a productive dialogue about what we are doing, and for who.
- Design for people over profit: centre those who are most affected by what we build. Talk to people and give them a platform. Challenge briefs which squeeze out human life in favour of an imagined bottom line.