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Open call for publication contributions: … but, who are we building for?

Open call for publication contributions: … but, who are we building for?
Open call for publication contributions: … but, who are we building for?

… but, who are we building for? is the second publication, following who is the architect? published in 2023, as part of a series of publications initiated and edited by Building Diversity and published with the Danish Architectural Press.

The series seek to explore, discuss and unfold diversity and equality in architecture — past, present and future. We are hereby inviting everyone who is interested in taking part, to submit an abstract for contribution.


Architecture affects everyone and everything. Historically, it has served — and still does — as a potent tool for power, capable of establishing, limiting and distributing different forms of dominance, control and exclusion. Architecture also tends to reflect societal values, ideologies, measuring systems and building standards. It therefore also has the capacity for care and inclusion, but sometimes established power structures and blindspots create obstacles, by not taking into account multiple diverse needs and the many ways of being in the world. And it is not only humans who are affected by architecture — the biosphere, multispecies, biodiversity, microbes; everything has been and still is being impacted by architecture. The increased implications are shedding light on numerous social and environmental challenges, so we ask the question; ...but, who are we building for?. A question that aims to discuss, investigate, suggest and challenge existing narratives and structures, not just about the architecture itself — but everything and everyone it influences. This second publication takes off from the question of who is the architect? and pivots towards the more profound inquiry; ... but, who are we building for?. Shifting the focus from the creators and curators of the built environment to its inhabitants — temporary or permanent, human or non-human, with the intention of exploring for whom cities, buildings, spaces and infrastructure is created, the underlying power structures, the discrimination that occurs through design, and on the other hand the opportunities of creating more inclusive and diverse environments.

WHO IS “WE“? AND WHAT IS “BUILDING“? The intention from the editors is to use the term “we” as a broad category of perspectives, not solely professions related directly to architecture, but instead inviting a broad spectrum of voices. Within the use of a universal "we", we acknowledge geographical, cultural, financial, political and other differences, which has an impact on the understanding of how “we” is interpreted. The intention is that the use of “we” can emphasise the aim for more unity across differences while respecting and celebrating the diversity of contexts. The term “building” recalls the name of Building Diversity and it is intended as an active and broad term, which can include for instance the action of adapting, preserving and transforming. Contributions should refer to those terms, and are welcome to challenge them as well.

THE PUBLICATION AS A TOOL ... but, who are we building for? is not aimed to be a guide for how to build, nor a catalog of “solutions”. It is meant to be a collection of perspectives, imaginations, thoughts, challenging questions — and ideas from various perspectives, coming from different backgrounds and angles. It is the ambition that it can be a tool for opening up conversations, expanding existing discussions and starting new ones. 

FORMATS The abstract submission includes a text description of the contribution’s content, as well as a description of the desired format — preferably with a visual attachment or a reference as a minimum. While we do have some limitations, in regards to the book’s dimensions and length, we do encourage contributors to challenge the standard formats and suggest others which could be more suitable for the contribution’s content. With that said, we have several guidelines to help understand the scope of the contributions: The we: the policy makers, developers, the designers, consultants The who: the users, the community, the climate Climate adaptation for disability Embracing Imperfections and learning from mistakes The social impact of design The collective biosphere/ creating frameworks for non-humans Universal design / Inclusive design Future generations and changemakers Inclusive (design) processes Designing new narratives / imagining new futures Towards inclusive standards Breaking down barriers Text contribution e.g. essay / interview / poem / article A text that describes, clarifies, argues, or analyses. In the case of contributions that require peer review, this must be clearly stated. Peer assessment of research is offered and will be coordinated with the editors. Limited to between 1000 - 3000 words with 1 - 5 visual elements



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