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BOOK: Practice Practice

The recently reignited labour movement has inspired architects to consider alternative modes of professional design practice such as the worker-owned co-operative, a structure that author and activist Ashton Hamm attests fosters more equitable, democratic and empowering working environments. Since opening one herself (Uxo Architects), Hamm has become something of an expert on the subject. Following an account of the history of co-ops in Part 1, Part 2 breaks down their legal frameworks. Part 3 builds on these insights through an interview with the longest-standing architectural co-operative in the United States, South Mountain Company.

PODCAST: Scratching the Surface
Podcast thumbnail of Andre Jaque
Podcast thumbnail of Eva Hagberg

What began in 2016 as part of host Jarrett Fuller’s MFA thesis at the Maryland Institute College of Art has quickly become one of today’s top design podcasts — and for good reason. In his 235 episodes and counting, Fuller has spoken to leaders and emerging voices across design disciplines. While a new season kicked off this fall, there are plenty of past episodes worth revisiting: Standouts include conversations with Columbia GSAPP dean Andrés Jaque on the intersection of architecture and politics (Episode 227) and writer Kate Wagner on her viral blog, McMansion Hell (Episode 105). Fuller concludes each interview by asking what his subjects are currently reading, offering a glimpse into their creative processes — and ample fodder for your TBR list.

BOOK: Situated Practices in Architecture and Politics
Cover of Situated Practices in Architecture and Politics

“Architects as design citizens witness the acceleration of political change and uncertainty disproportionately and are compelled to act,” write social scientist Patrick Lynn Rivers and architect and historian Kai Wood Mah in their introduction. Indeed, navigating politics is unavoidable in architectural practice, and this book highlights how the two are interwoven through five case studies from around the world. The first follows architect Fasil Giorghis as he works alongside historic preservation non-profit World Monuments Fund, balancing science and faith in his restoration of an Ethiopian church. In the second chapter, Thai architect Patama Roonrakwit underscores the importance of harmonious client relationships. Subsequent case studies discuss how to “hack” systems of white settler supremacy, the importance of considering both a project’s intended and unintended users, and lessons from the Nantes School of Architecture.

Media Shelf: Professional Practice

Two books (and a podcast) explore the present and future of professional design practice.

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