The United Nations and Self-Help Housing in the Tropics

Authored by: Nancy Kwak

The Routledge Companion to Architecture and Social Engagement

Print publication date:  May  2018
Online publication date:  May  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138889699
eBook ISBN: 9781315712697
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



“Architecture is rediscovering its social conscience,” New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff (2010) commented in 2010 after viewing a groundbreaking exhibit on architectures of social engagement at MOMA. By the early twenty-first century, social, economic, and environmental issues had become too pressing to ignore for many in the field; words and phrases like “collaboration,” “democratic design,” “humanitarian architecture,” and the “social good” became the new language of architects who subscribed to the art of “giving a damn.” In 2016, Tom Pritzker praised that year’s Architecture Prize winner Alejandro Aravena (2016) for “pioneer[ing] a collaborative practice that produces powerful works of architecture and also addresses key challenges of the 21st century,” for “show[ing] how architecture at its best can improve people’s lives.” “Pioneer,” “rediscovery”—such words signaled a new moment had arrived, that architects had opened their eyes once more to the larger purpose and mission of their field.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.