Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility
Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility works for peace, environmental protection, ecological building, social justice, and the development of healthy communities.
Started 3 petitions
Commit architects to protecting human rights with the Trump administration
AIA must stand for the wellbeing of the architectural profession, but AIA’s uncritical embrace of the incoming Trump administration calls that into question. Local economies throughout much of the country need revitalization, but we do not believe that kissing up to a litigious billionaire will benefit the majority of architects and designers. A thriving profession requires a country of greater equality and shared prosperity, while deregulation threatens our our ability to deliver quality work and even our professional standing. Trump’s promises to end longstanding environmental protections when a higher standard of care is called for will make the buildings we deliver complicit in abusing our children and grandchildren for the sake of short-term gain. Above all, economic sustainability demands renewed respect for the earth and for all the people of the communities we live in and serve. It is not only our nation’s physical infrastructure that needs rebuilding, but after this divisive political campaign our social and political infrastructure needs restoration as well. Our profession has an essential role to play, not only through executing the building projects our country needs – schools, affordable housing, and everything that can reduce our carbon footprint to sustainable levels – but also in demonstrating civil, public-spirited, and inclusive leadership. AIA’s statement of partnership with the incoming administration somehow ignored that the President-elect, as a candidate, focused much of his campaign on threatening the dignity and human rights of women, Muslims, Latin@s, LGBT people, and others around the world, or that his victory once against frustrated the will of the American people through the mechanism of the antiquated electoral college. AIA’s uncritical statement of support for the next administration has been deeply unsettling to many architects, to say the least; AIA must immediately reassure its members and a nervous public that architects will respect human rights, protect our democratic values, and contribute to community economic development as a foundation of our work. We demand that AIA immediately adopt the human rights Ethics Rule that Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility has proposed to prohibit member participation in projects intended to violate human rights, because we are deeply concerned that the Trump administration may attempt to suborn members into ethically unacceptable projects, and because members and the public deserve proof of good will after AIA’s tone-deaf promise of support for a threatening administration. This will also help to reassert our profession’s independence in civil society and our value to our local communities. With Mr. Trump’s authoritarian tone and his personal history of flouting the law (even refusing to pay AIA members for past work), we must also be cautious of threats to our democracy, and a renewed human rights commitment will do what our profession can to inoculate U.S. civil society more broadly against future abuse. Our profession can achieve great things, and we can work with a Trump administration, but we can only do so on our terms, rather than on his, as a profession devoted to design for the public good.
Ban design for killing or torture
Thank you for continuing to consider the proposal from Architects / Designers / Planners for Social Responsibility to prohibit the design of spaces intended for killing, torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (http://adpsr.org/home/ethics_reform). This is an issue that defines the limits of the civilized practice of architecture, and indeed the limits of civilized behavior itself. I appreciate that the National Ethics Council is taking the time to consider the issue thoroughly. I urge the National Ethics Council, and then the AIA national Board of Directors, to stand up for human rights and implement ADPSR’s proposal. ADPSR’s proposal will help to clarify AIA’s current ethical position in support of human rights in light of recent events. Since you last considered the issue, two major pharmacists’ professional associations spoke out to stop their members’ participation in execution processes. Also, the United Nations published their new Mandela Rules on Minimum Standards for the Treatment of Prisoners, which make clear that prolonged solitary confinement is an unacceptable violation of human rights. And in the United States solitary confinement has been criticized or condemned by courts, prison officials, and even President Obama. Now is the time for the profession of architecture to join this movement for human rights and respect for human dignity. Thank you again for considering ADPSR’s proposal and my signature.
American Institute of Architects (AIA): Prohibit the design of spaces for killing, torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment
In 2011, United Nations bodies determined that long-term solitary isolation is a form of torture or cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment prohibited by international law, and made special reference to the United States use of supermax prisons and juvenile solitary confinement as violations. All international human rights bodies have also long included abolition of the death penalty as a necessary ultimate step in realizing human rights. AIA‘s code of ethics already includes the statement “Members should uphold human rights in all their professional endeavors,” but this standard is unenforceable without reference to international human rights standards. Adding enforceable language to the AIA Code can help redress the problems caused by buildings that embody human rights violations. Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) is asking the American Institute of Architects to amend its Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct to prohibit the design of spaces for killing, torture, and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. In the United States, this comprises the design of execution chambers; super-maximum security prisons (“supermax”), where solitary confinement is an intolerable form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; and solitary confinement facilities for juveniles and the mentally ill. As people of conscience and as a profession dedicated to improving the built environment for all people, we cannot participate in the design of spaces that violate human life and dignity. Participating in the development of buildings designed for killing, torture, or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is fundamentally incompatible with professional practice that respects standards of decency and human rights. AIA has the opportunity to lead our profession in upholding human rights. * this campaign is fully described at www.adpsr.org - click on "Ethics Reform" ** You do not need to be an architect to sign this petition, and it is very valuable for AIA to hear from the general public on this issue. If you are an AIA member, please include "AIA Member" in the "Why is this important to you" field.