Architects in the Neoliberal Age
Voices on the Present State
While studying architecture, the initial idealism and the belief to be able to change the world, often gets lost or is replaced by the feeling of discontent and disillusion. You realize, that most of the buildings are not constructed with the purpose to create magnificent spaces or housing of quality, but quite the opposite, that they are solely built to generate profit and reputation. Thus, the contemporary production of architecture seems highly entrenched in the neoliberal system.
Therefore, this project investigates the situation and responsibilities of architects in the neoliberal age. Exploring if contemporary protagonists think of- and question architecture's relation with the neoliberal system. Is it relevant for them or are they rather ignoring it? Searching for different perspectives in architecture, that question the seemingly ‘necessary liaison‘ of the profession with the financial market, its effects on the competitive working conditions of architects and especially its consequences on urban space, which becomes a precious and embattled resource.
What is found through this research, provides the material for a diverse collection of positions - gathered by interviewing both, young professionals and experienced protagonists in architecture. These recorded and edited interviews as well as other research findings are made accessible for viewing on this web platform. In addition you can find thematically related texts which either summarize, highlight or confront certain parts of the interviews. Without a doubt, the selection of interviewees is very subjective and is missing many relevant protagonists and practices (yet). So far, the visible discourse on this topic is very eurocentric and nourished in major western-world cities (see map below). In the future, this project aspires to question this, and to expand the selection of interviewed individuals and practices awith positions from other regions of the world.
The project is conceived as a pool of knowledge that deals with the conjunction of architecture and the neoliberal market; if you like, ‘a beginners guide’ to a complex field of opinions and theories; with the aim to highlight possible alternatives; to create awareness and through that to foster a broad discussion; and definitely ‘only’ a first basis to identify specific research subjects for future more in depth investigations. An ongoing project.
Find further instructions about the functions of this web platform on the ‘How to use Platform’ page.