A lively and accessible discussion of how architecture functions in a complex world of obligation and responsibility, with a preface offering specific discussion of architecture during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the special ethical obligations assumed by architects? Because their work creates the basic material conditions that make all other human activity possible, architects and their associates in building enjoy vast influence on how we all live, work, play, worship, and think. With this influence comes tremendous, and not always examined, responsibility. This book addresses the range of ethical issues that architects face, with a broad understanding of ethics. Beyond strictly professional duties - transparency, technical competence, fair trading - lie more profound issues that move into aesthetic, political, and existential realms. Does an architect have a duty to create art, if not always beautiful art? Should an architect feel obliged to serve a community and not just a client? Is justice a possible orientation for architectural practice? Is there such a thing as feeling compelled to "shelter being" in architectural work? By taking these usually abstract questions into the region of physical creation, the book attempts a reformulation of "architectural ethics" as a matter of deep reflection on the architect's role as both citizen and caretaker. Thinkers and makers discussed include Le Corbusier, Martin Heidegger, Lewis Mumford, Rem Koolhaas, Jane Jacobs, Arthur Danto, and John Rawls.
About the author
Mark Kingwell is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto and a contributing editor of Harper’s Magazine. He is the author of eleven books of political and cultural theory, including most recently, Concrete Reveries: Consciousness and the City (2008) and Opening Gambits: Essays on Art and Philosophy (2008). He is the recipient of the Spitz Prize in political theory, National Magazine Awards for both essays and columns, and in 2000 was awarded an honorary DFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design for contributions to theory and criticism.
Patrick Turmel is an assistant professor of philosophy at Université Laval. His main research interests are in moral and political philosophy. He has published articles in ethics and on issues pertaining to cities and justice. He is also co-editor of Penser les institutions (Presses de l’Université Laval).
"Ethics in Architecture is a timely reminder of the professional responsibilities of those charged with making the world a better place through their thoughtful interventions in the built environment."
--John David, Urban Wildland
Other titles by Mark Kingwell
Robots, Rights, and the Politics of Posthumanism
The Adventurer's Glossary
Wish I Were Here
Boredom and the Interface
The Best Canadian Essays 2018
Why Baseball Matters
Measure Yourself Against the Earth
The Man with Six Senses
Essays on Democracy, Civility and the Human Imagination