RG17.3 architects as activists

One evening each month, local architects convene for an evening of socializing, dinner and education. The topics range the full gamut of topics that may help them in their professional pursuits. This last month, the topic was affordable housing. You wouldn’t guess it to be a hot topic, but it was. Attendance was almost double the norm, and a healthy segment of those there to learn more were architecture students at UO. This speaks well for our community and our school. Affordable housing may be a growth industry, as the rich get richer and the poor get more numerous, except that the shake-up in the financial sector has removed most of the best funding strategies. Affordable housing never promised to be a high-margin or low-maintenance client, so why were so many architects and students of architecture attending? Because architects are activists. They care about the communities they are building. They are trained to think more about the whole than any of the individual parts. They genuinely and deeply care about the communities they serve. What’s better than having dozens of architects arrive wanting to learn more about how low-income housing is built in Lane County? Having the same number of architects leave a few hours later, satisfied. They did.