Architecture's ethical function: in defence of the architect's profession

Stara, Alexandra (2019) Architecture's ethical function: in defence of the architect's profession. In: Jones, Alan and Hyde, Rob, (eds.) Defining contemporary professionalism: for architects in practice and education. London, U.K. : RIBA Publishing. pp. 222-225. ISBN 9781859468470


This essay is an invited contribution to a collection from the Royal Institute of British Architects (coedited by its current President), aiming to produce new definitions of professionalism for the architecture sector and to influence the professional skills curriculum content within architecture schools as set by the RIBA. The essay offers a polemic against the rise of participatory practices in architecture, based on predominantly sociological discourses and at the expense of the architect’s contribution (from theorists J. Till and R. Hyde to policy makers and practitioners several of which included in this volume). Arguing for the fundamental and enduring relevance of the cultural dimension of architecture, with the support of the work of philosophers K. Harries, the essay offers a corrective to the proposed reduction of the architect’s responsibility and posits that the opposite would serve the communities and end-users of architectural and urban project better and in the longer term.

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