John Massengale has a great post called “I am not a fashionista” on his blog. At its conclusion is a link to a petition to ask the American Institute of Architects to diversify the architects and architecture it promotes. At the bottom, click on the link that says “I am not a fashionista.” Or click on the link at the bottom of this post.
John refers to a proposed building in Seoul that looks like the Twin Towers blowing up, and notes that it received positive reviews in many corners of the architectural establishment. I recall writing about it and noting the defensive crouch assumed by MRDV after the resemblance to 9/11 (which was unavoidable) was noted. Who, us? We had absolutely no idea!
The AIA recently hosted its monthly online “#aiachat.” It was about diversity – of the gender and racial variety, not whether more types of architecture should be represented in AIA advocacy. Even though I’m not in the AIA (and am not an architect), I was permitted to join the chat, notwithstanding my ignorance of the style of diversity under inspection. The moderator politely set me straight. But others under the same delusion who had joined the chat earlier and tried to clarify the topic or bend it toward a broader diversity had the impression that their comments were studiously ignored.
AIA’s new president, Elizabeth Chu Richter, probably would not want to think that it is a stick-in-the-mud that represents only the most regressive of agendas. She would be horrified, and rightly so. Well, it is just as bad to discriminate against a belief as against a gender or a skin color. If I thought all architects should be shot, that would be a belief worth discriminating against. But the organization representing the interests of all architects should obviously advocate all valid architectural styles. That is basic.
Of course, there’s a cottage industry of architectural history the purpose of which is to demonstrate that all architecture but modern architecture is invalid. Right. Which is just as valid as believing that all baseball players should be white and all presidents should be men.
Get with the program, AIA! Sign the petition. It is here.