There’s an architect’s impression of a new development for Greenwich, south-east London, that has caused some outrage on social media. The Elysian rendering of Charlton Riverside features 36 people frolicking in the park, and only one of them is black.
Oh, we’ve been here before, haven’t we, reader?
Architects are overwhelmingly male and pale, young and privileged, and there are legitimate concerns about them designing our cities in their image. Fewer than one in every 10 architects is black, Asian or minority-ethnic, and less than a third of UK qualified architects are women.
Lately I’ve found myself imagining what the world might look like if the people who designed it – politicians, planners, developers and architects – were more diverse.
This’ll be good! *settles in with popcorn*
I don’t believe that men and women design differently, or that poverty and ethnicity inform architecture, but lived experience is a great teacher. The regeneration projects of the past decade are more about planters and cappuccinos than access to free drinking water, public toilets, cheap groceries and a post office.
Wait, a post office..? Do those still exist? Isn’t it 2018?
What would our cities be like if mothers had more of a role in designing them? There would be ramps everywhere, for a start.
Which take up more room that stairs. Making things more expensive. Great job, mums!
If teenagers designed cities, charging your phone would be a human right.
Adverts featuring beautiful, thin people would be banned. There would be chip shops on every corner.
Strangely, there’s nothing in the article about what ethnic minorities might design. Help her out in the comments, reader!
Who on earth is this blithering idiot, anyway?
Christine Murray is the founder of the Women in Architecture awards
Ah. OK, I think I’ve seen a pretty good reason to keep architecture ‘pale and male’.