Marisa Cortright: Architectural Workers of Europe, Unite! / roundtalble
Space for Engaged Architecture, as part of the Faculty of Architecture at BUT, invites to a roundtable with an architectural worker Marisa Cortright. Marisa has long been mapping the position of architectural workers across Europe and their organising and has summarised her findings in the publication “Can this be? Surely this cannot be?” Architectural Workers Organizing in Europe, published by Prague's VI PER Gallery in 2021. The roundtable will be in English on Saturday, 10 December 2022, at 1 pm at the Brno Gallery of Architecture as part of the project Dear architects… — Architecture as Labour.
Spots are limited. Please register: https://forms.gle/ufuF1uLqZqFbQqpD8
**FFP2 respirators will be required during the event. Please be respectful and consider attending if you do not feel well.**
Designers, architects and urbanists, as well as their myriad administrative and technical colleagues, won’t be able to handle social and political issues in their projects without addressing how those same issues affect the conditions of their labour. Drawing from the experiences and misgivings of architectural workers across Europe, including her own, Marisa Cortright argues that architectural workers would do well to recognize themselves as workers. In so doing, she suggests, they would be better disposed to challenge extractive and oppressive modes of architectural production.
Cortright notes that architectural workers are inculcated with certain beliefs from the very beginning of their education—for example, that designers work either solo or as part of a non-hierarchical team—and that those beliefs have created within the architecture profession cultural obstacles that stand in the way of collective solidarity. In her book, she compiled, compared, and chronicled architectural workers within universities, cultural institutions and design firms, and as freelancers’ concerns, goals and visions for the future of architectural labour.
At the workshop, Marisa will shortly present her book, and afterwards, all participants will discuss together the subjects of organising architectural workers in Europe. The aim is to discuss how each of us understands the terms in their own context. What does it mean to be an architectural worker, and whom does that include? How does Europe bear upon the workers? What do the participants consider organising to be, and what can it accomplish?
Marisa Cortright is an architectural worker based in Zagreb, Croatia. She holds degrees in architectural and urban history from the Bartlett School of Architecture and Barnard College. In 2021, she published a book of essays, “‘Can This Be? Surely This Cannot Be?’ Architectural Workers Organizing in Europe” with the VI PER Gallery in Prague, contributed to the exhibition “Safe Spaces – The Right to Space” at the Arcam in Amsterdam, and urged Death to the Calling in Failed Architecture.
The project is realized in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture of the Brno University of Technology and with the financial support of the Statutory City of Brno, the Ministry of Culture and the Czech Architecture Foundation.
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