We, the architects
More than 6,500 Russian architects condemned the Ukraine invasion in a new open letter
“We, the architects and urban planners of Russia, consider the offensive of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine unacceptable.”
A powerful open letter signed by more than 6,500 Russian architects condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine that’s already claimed the life of more than 2,000 civilians (according to Ukraine’s State Emergency service).
“The war devalues the very essence of the activity of an architect and urban planner, no matter what country he is in,” the letter said. “It violates the rights of people: to life, security, self-realization, a comfortable and healthy environment - all those values that are the basis of our activities.”
Leading global firms, like OMA, Zaha Hadid Architects, MVRDV, David Chipperfield Architects committed to suspending their work in Russia. Others, who have no active projects in Russia, including Bjarke Ingels Group and Kettle Collective, also condemned the war and offered messages of their support.
It’s not the first time architects have taken a stance to promote social justice. In September 2020, AIA New York called on architects to halt work on prisons “until there is measurable reform in America to apply the law without racial bias.”
And in 2017, more than 400 firms signed an open letter addressed to President-elect Donald Trump urging policy reform around climate change, renewable energy, and special interest money in politics.
Bottom line: The letter on Ukraine is a significant reminder of the opportunity architects, designers, and builders have to help shape the world around us in arguably one of our most powerful forms: through the buildings in which we live, work, play, gather, reflect, and socialize.
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