Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Welcome to Activist!

This site, maintained by four architecture graduate students at the University of Minnesota, aims to be a resource for designers who are interested in applying their professional skills and abilities in working for social justice and community activism.

Our blog will have five main components:
  • Interviews: Our team will profile local professionals in our community and beyond to learn what it takes to be an activist architect.
  • Reviews of Current Events: We will be sure to send members of our team to local events to report on the work currently under way in our community. We will also feature synopses of relevant lectures, including, for example, an overview of a lecture on Sam Mockbee's Rural Studio at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
  • Hot-button Issues: There are many controversial projects happening around the Twin Cities area, and we aim to bring some of them to the attention of our blog readers. What happens when architects enter the political lime light? How can designers stake an activist claim on developments happening around their communities? We hope that these types of projects will generate comments and discussion on the issues.
  • Calendar of Events: We will post event information on our sidebar that includes upcoming events in the area.
  • Links: We aim to compile a resource of links to other organizations, both neighborhood based and professionally organized, that deal with issues of activism in design.
How does this relate to the professional practice of architecture? Our blog will touch on the community involvement of professionals, pro-bono work, and the public as a stakeholder in the design process. We want to know how professionals currently balance their involvement with the "working world" with more voluntary types of organizations that utilize their skills.

In the next four weeks, you can expect to see 2 interviews/profiles, 2 event reviews, an established list of links, an ever-changing calendar, and a list of hot-button issues as they present themselves in our community.

For feedback or comments on the site, please e-mail activist.architect AT We look forward to your response, and thanks for joining the activist architect community!