Why Equity in Architecture Matters

Why Equity in Architecture Matters

A curated Bibliography of current and relevant articles, blogposts, and published materials of other groups' Guides, Toolkits, and resources for making the case for Equity in Architecture.

 Trim Tab - Issue 29 Transparency - LivingFuture.Org

Trim Tab - Issue 29 Transparency - LivingFuture.Org

“Equity” and “equality” have long been used interchangeably, but the terms are often confused with each other. While the focus of equality is framed with sameness being the end goal, equity may be defined as a state in which all people, regardless of their socioeconomic, racial, or ethnic grouping, have fair and just access to the resources and opportunities necessary to thrive. Beyond equity’s newer association with pluralism, it has long been connected to financial capital, as well as to collective ownership, vested interest, and a sense of value or self-worth.

Equity has a strong potential as a new paradigm and social construct to succeed on multiple levels—equity in education, equitable practice in the workplace, and social equity in access to basic life resources, healthy and safe communities, and public space in our urban centers. The equity-focused value proposition at all these levels is rooted in transparency, education, collaboration, and trust.

 

Discrimination by Design - Visual Evidence: Data and Design in Everyday Life by Lena Groeger

It's likely that as long as humans and their institutions hold prejudices and bias, their designs will reflect them. But some progress is possible. Two decades ago architect Ronald Mace imagined a new standard, in which anything humans make — a new piece of technology, a public park, a household product — is usable by everyone. He called this idea "universal design." Today it's an enforceable legal standard in Norway. One way to help us get there? Make sure the design process itself is also accessible to all.

 

Why aren’t we designing cities that work for women, not just men? - Andrew Fleming and Anja Tranovich via The Guardian

Similarly, cities in Bangladesh recently sought to serve women more equitably in infrastructure improvements. They recognized that this begins with understanding what women need. The programme made sure women had representation in local governments and a voice in urban planning – down to the very construction of buildings.