workshop #2 - "Politics of Space"
NOMA National Conference - Houston - 11/02/2017
This workshop strove to challenge architecture’s role in politicizing space. Following the current events in both domestic and global politics, architects have an even larger responsibility to become involved in the social dynamics of the areas in which they work and create projects.
The majority of locales affected by the new Trump administration are found in inner urban areas. These inhabitants are subject to horrific immigration polices, lack of capital support, and racist institutional regimes that do not benefit their well-being or progression. Many within our profession might question the validity behind becoming involved in creating a stage for political change. However, as people who create physical space, we must take responsibility for the social ramifications of our work.
Minority designers and architects are incredibly underrepresented in the field, making it even more important for a diverse group of practitioners to push for social change in architecture and political discourse. There must exist spaces in academia and professional life where people feel comfortable speaking about unjust issues. The NOMA Houston workshop constructed such an environment, all the while simulating a set of topics about oppressive acts in architecture, the definition of cultural spaces, and the importance of the asylum. Cultural spaces were defined by a vernacular of a set practices, while the asylum was denoted as a space conducive to any person's idea of peace, safety, and freedom.
The Designing in Color team then challenged the participants to engage in a collaborative project after the conference.