In defense of inclusion, tolerance, and love

Architects are trained to imagine, design, and create spaces that improve our environment, shape healthy communities, and participate in a dialogue with people — all people. The Open Architecture Collaborative (OAC) believes that we do this in celebration of what makes us unique, including our race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation and country of origin. Design does not discriminate — designers do. Sadly, AIA EVP and CEO Robert Ivy’s statement of support for President-elect Donald Trump and his infrastructure policies to rebuild America endorses discrimination by design.

The discriminatory, divisive, and demeaning rhetoric expressed during President-elect Trump’s electoral campaign directly contradicts the mission and values of the Open Architecture Collaborative. As architects and designers we aim to create greater community good via open, participatory, and inclusive design services. We employ tools like our Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policies to hold one another accountable to these values.

Now, more than ever, design must be used as a tool to engage, encourage, and empower peaceful negotiation of how we live, work, and play in our shared spaces. We do not condone or endorse organizations that align their work to benefit some at the detriment of others. We believe it is the responsibility of those who have not been marginalized and oppressed to stand up for those who have been.

The OAC is an organization that trains designers to confront their privilege, to question stigmas, to stand up against injustices, and to dismantle institutions that perpetuate inequity. In these times of challenge and change the OAC will continue to build the next generation of community design leaders. We encourage you to never remain neutral in the face of hatred and oppression.

OAC Global Leadership


This statement was crafted with the input from dozens of chapter leaders around the globe. We are committed to participatory practice in our operations, governance, and design work.