arch-peace news and articles

28.5.17

Our Virtual Home Updates | #givepeaceachance


Architects for Peace has been running a crowdfunding campaign for the last four weeks. Thanks to the people who have generously supported us, we were able to raise more than 30% of our target.
Working on the campaign was a good opportunity to look back at all the work that AFP has been doing over the last 14 years. It gave the current team the opportunity to rediscover the work of former volunteers and share it with our community.  

We started our campaign by talking about AFP’s origin with Beatriz Maturana Cossio, who shared the story of how it all began with just herself, her computer and her dog.

Beatriz told us about AFP’s “official” kick off in 2004 with the IntentCITY free forum held at the undercroft of Hamer Hall in Melbourne.

The focus of the intentCITY street forum was to discuss the "political city" -- the public space that affects us all --  the built environment, ecology, citizens, and particularly our involvement in war and what can be done to prevent it. Dozens of people attended the one-day event that consisted of speakers, a panel discussion, NGO information and displays, music, dance, poetry, and art installations.
Eleanor Chapman, former AFP president, reminded us of the political origin of the organisation,  very much embedded in the way the group started up, at a time when people were protesting against Australia’s decision to attack Iraq, and the role AFP has been playing in the last 14 years.

AFP has been active on the front of commentary and critical reflection in the area of equitable urban development, fostering grassroots dialogue and debate outside of the halls of academic institutions and the pages of journals.

However, the campaign was also an opportunity to introduce the community to our team of volunteers. The Architects for Peace team is made up of a diverse group of people, with different nationalities, different languages, different backgrounds, but we share one common vision: to promote urban spaces that are planned, designed and used in the interests of social equity and environmental protection.  

Today begins the last week of our campaign. We want to thank all the people that have helped us to get thus far by donating or by acting as our ambassadors, telling others about our work.

We would like to invite you to please take a moment this week to think about what Architects for Peace was able to accomplish over the years and all the amazing work that was done. We want that work to continue and we need a place where that work can be freely and easily accessed by everyone, regardless of where people are.

If you care about social justice, solidarity, respect and want to give peace a chance, please help us build our virtual home and make a donation today! Thank you!


15.5.17

The gap between space and politics. Politics affect architects. It’s time for architects to affect politics.

The name 'Architects for Peace' involves all aspects of city design. In this sense, we use 'architects' as a term common to all our areas of urban expertise with peace as our goal.

At Architects for Peace (A4P) we see the links between politics and space as too important to ignore.  Our political roots are embedded in the way the group was formed. We started up in response to Australian involvement in the 2003 Iraq bombing and occupation.

Eleanor Chapman, A4P former president, tells us that there is a real gap to fill between space and politics, especially in countries like Australia, where you might think we've got a pretty equitable society.

Built environment professionals are often reluctant to step into this gap – to get politically involved. They are a service industry and, in Eleanor’s view, there’s some fear of upsetting clients by airing one’s political views.

However, even in countries such as Australia, where there isn’t direct experience of conflict, major tensions do exist. Eleanor pointed out how the market-led approach in the global economy is creating cities of haves-and-have-nots – very much defined along geographic lines and along housing tenure lines.

The growing social-spatial inequalities that this is causing also points to why architects can’t afford to stay apolitical. It’s in part by doing so that we’ve let ourselves be side-lined from the housing market. That market has become dominated by private developers who are inherently motivated by the exchange value of homes and land, rather than their use value and social function.

Ever since its formation, A4P has aimed to fill in the gaps between politics and space by providing a platform to initiate discussion around urban, planning, architectural and environmental issues affecting our cities, people and the environment.

A4P strives to bring forward a well neglected discussion in our profession and that is the conversation around social justice in the built environment and design for peace.

To get involved, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or send us a message.
Email: afp@architectsforpeace.org
There are no clean wars, no positive outcomes from the destruction of lives, communities, cities, the environment and infrastructure.

#A4P
#architectsforpeace
#givepeaceachance

1.5.17

Help Us Build Our Virtual Home



Dear members, friends and colleagues,


This place has been our virtual home since 2003, but while we were busy filling it up with lots of important content, we let time go by without doing the necessary renovations. Only small work here and there, but it wasn’t enough and it has now become a cluttered home that’s hard to navigate.


Help Architects for Peace build a new virtual home to communicate with our diverse international community, as we continue to make a positive impact on the built environment. Your donation will help us build a cleaner and user-friendly website that enables you and tens of thousands of other visitors from around the world to easily access information. A place where A4P supporters can gather to learn about the work we are doing – whether it’s defending the right to public space or bringing experts together to discuss a more equitable housing future.


Not only do we publish A4P’s activities on the site, we also share relevant content about urban development, promoting causes that focus on social justice, solidarity, respect and peace.


Help Us Build Our Virtual Home, *Donate today!*



Get in touch: afpteam@architectsforpeace.org

23.4.17

Address to City of Melbourne Submissions Committee - opposing local law changes that seek to punish the homelessness


Further to last month’s post on our submission to the City of Melbourne, outlining our opposition to the proposed amendments to the Activities (Public Amenity and Security) Local Law 2017 which we believe would adversely impact on people experiencing homelessness, two of our volunteers, Lara and Steve, represented Architects for Peace to address the Submissions Committee on 6 April.  More than 40 individuals and organisations chose to be heard in front of the committee, and each and every speaker rose to condemn the proposed amendments.  Many people with personal observations and experiences of homelessness expressed that council policy has already had a detrimental effect on their sense of belonging and self-esteem.  Many also expressed frustration with council’s procedure, which has bypassed and alienated established homelessness advisory bodies.

Committee resolutions included a call on management to commission a Human Rights Charter - Assessment of Compatibility into the proposed changes, along with a resolution to adjourn the meeting until 24 May to consider the volume of verbal and written submissions.  Further information, including an audio recording of the meeting, is available on the City of Melbourne website.

 

Design for all? Quality affordable housing and the right to the city


On 23 March 2017, Architects for Peace joined the Melbourne Design Week (MDW) conversation by hosting a discussion forum, Design for all?  Quality affordable housing and the right to the city, to explore the challenges and opportunities for delivering well-designed housing that enhanced the right to the city for all.  A panel of five speakers from design and non-design backgrounds presented their personal views, before taking questions from the audience.  The presentation and discussion all pointed to the fact that inequality and unaffordability of housing in Melbourne is on the rise, although the panellists were hopeful about future change and that a range of potential solutions were identified.  Whilst many ideas discussed were design focused, and it can be agreed that design does play an important role in ensuring affordable and accessible housing in our cities, the panellists recognised that a 'whole systems approach' is the best way forward.