THE NEXT 1460 DAYS: AN ERA ABOUT US
Culture is indigenous to place as architecture is about the creation of space.
The way we speak, what we eat, and how we pray helps derive who are from day to day
Buildings, monuments, and constructed environments
reflect a holy practice to express an inner divine
There is no denying the effect human manifestations have on our world,
These change and sculpt the appearance of a vast amount of people
From the magnificent structures of Ancient Egypt to the utter destruction of historical monuments in Aleppo, Syria in modern day
We are responsible for the constructs that reflect our space,
So that they do not appear alien to foreigners but more importantly ourselves
Without the past endeavors of our people whether rooted in a family tree or not
We must preserve the knowledge developed over time or architecture
will cease to exist and instead rot
It will rot from capitalistic endeavors meant to benefit the greed of swollen pockets and benefit those ashamed to dip their toes in the common pool of life
There is no reality to what the last election says about our future
The only reality is that we as designers and those who need our expertise do not deserve to be subject to the political engagements that omit their voices from the presence of urban space
We will and can do better
Red tie or not
We have all been doused in opinions of what tomorrow (or the next 100 days) will bring after the inauguration of the 45th president, commonly referred to as, “not my president” of the United States of America. The media has not ceased the firestorm of coverage of the erratic actions of the new White House Regime. Yes, we know in the least descriptive way possible, this sucks. The latest executive order signed into action made the feeling even more dire for our brothers and sisters from abroad and even on our own soil. What is happening before our eyes is real indeed, but it does not wipe away progress or the work we have ahead of us. The Women's March was evidence of this as the largest public gathering in American history. This event defines the evocative impact urban tension can have in space. It is this space that I am interesting in capturing for intense and productive engagements.
Over the last eight years, President Barack Obama proved more than capable of provoking this from the oval office.The accomplishments of Barack Obama are not lost, but are rather altered underneath an image that we must seek to keep visible in our current political climate. Obama did not only represent the will to redefine economic oppression during one of the greatest recessions in our country's history, he also signaled change in our racial political views of those around us. This may not be as visible to everyone via his administration's policies but what made him so magnificent was his ability to distribute a message to a large population of people. There weren’t any schemes, deceptions, or political jargon that possessed his greatest speeches, but rather emotions that were compassionate and connected to America and the larger world. His emotions mirrored the heartbeats of many people across the globe. This connection will no longer exist and has instead been replaced with political opposition. It the same political opposition that sparked the Women's March weeks ago, ignited the rallies against the immigration ban, and eventually led to the overruling of a terrifyingly discriminatory policy attacking Muslims who call this country home.
The configurations of political devices present in our urban environments are undeniably critical, this has been very evident in the early weeks of 2017. Not because of the red tied tyrant in office but more so because of how important it is to efficiently gather the collective minds of individuals in our smallest and largest population centers. Everyone wants to be heard but there is a need for a platform to perform. A politically engaged architecture does not need to be an iconic solution to a larger cause, it must be designed to balance the engagement of boundary conditions to connect people from a variety of demographics. Los Angeles, California is a consortium of several small cities that attempt to bleed into each other if not prevented by destructive traffic-heavy highways. The city has a wide range of ethnicity that define neighborhoods. However, the most evasive connector of area is not some well-planned urban environment. It is, in fact, gentrification. This silent economic engine has reformed neighborhoods such as Korea-town or Culvert City. Even though it may appear that each one of these neighborhoods should have a diverse intersection of people, neither of them engage their boundaries well. It is these same boundaries that suppress the collective work in the city. In this same manner the US has lacked a collective agenda on a political stage from its civilians, until now. As much as we love our heroes, we also need villains, as a necessary means to identify the work that needs to be executed. The current regime in office has created a dynamic in our community where everyone has a common goal to achieve the prospering of human rights. Black History Month is only one example of this and comes at a great time. It not only represents a richness of an accomplished culture but also the dynamics of how overcoming oppression creates a resilient group of people. This resilience, displayed in a variety of ways throughout the month of February, is the forefront for how we as Americans can begin to create collective space for us all to perform our own identities.
On 2017 February 26th at 4pm EDT, Designing In Color plans to discuss these topics during a Facebook Live webchat that will focus on the state of architecture in the unfolding era of the 45th President of the nation. Please like our page on Facebook for a notification and for more information on how to become involved in the conversation.