Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility

19,228 Supporters

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility works for peace, environmental protection, ecological building, social justice, and the development of healthy communities.

Started 2 petitions

Petitioning American Institute of Architects, AIA National Ethics Council

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 ( 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.

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility
16,992 supporters
Petitioning American Institute of Architects (AIA)

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 - 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.

Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility
2,236 supporters