I was reading one of our trade magazines this morning, on the train, and an article caught my eye. It was entitled The Bulletproof Environment. It was a an article that dealt with the growing need to anticipate people with guns, in the built environment. Manufacturers are now producing furnishings with textiles that are bulletproof and furniture that has handles so that in the event of a gunman they can be used as shields. Although the article had the greater good in mind, it saddened me greatly. Architecture and design is supposed to react to the needs of society but this is very depressing.
With that as a start to my day, I didn’t have high hopes, until I got further into the magazine and read an article on NCARB’s Hip Hop Architecture Camp, held in DC. It was a week long intensive program to introduce under-represented youth to architecture and urban design. A troubling statistic is that only 2% of architects, in the US, are African American. With local architects and designers as mentors they helped students create physical and digital models as well as a better understanding of the roles architects and designers play in our society. At the end of the program each of the youth created a rap verse to explain their design.
Although these are two completely different takes on our society I much prefer the long game of education and from that we’ll create a society that doesn’t see the need for guns.
For more on the program: NCARB