All aspects of architecture can be considered ethical. A designer must consider all aspects of the built environment, including labor and intersectionality. Architecture is functional and beautiful across cultures, policies, and climates. Designers can reconsider the impact of the discipline and the people it serves by addressing its ethics.

© Stijn Bollaert

Ethan Tucker suggested recently that we should think of ethical practice as sustainability. This idea allows us to explore what Tucker calls “Embodied Justice” across a variety of issues. We’re reviewing ArchDaily’s past years to find articles that cover many aspects of ethical practice as part of our Year in Review. The writings offer both observations and concrete examples, and explore ethics through various authors, geographies, and themes. Our editorial content is available in four languages and has a worldwide audience. This allows us to express different perspectives and material conditions.

What is Equity in Architecture & Design?

© Suyin Chia

According to dictionaries, equity is defined as the ability to give equal treatment to all people while acknowledging differences. Equity is fairness in how we treat each other, while still respecting their individual needs and characteristics. Notably, equity and equality are frequently used interchangeably. However, they can mean different things. This is due to equality being based on universal rights. All individuals are subject the same rules without exception.

Climate Crisis & Uneven Green Transitions

© Antonio Garcia

The 2015 Paris Agreement established that mitigating climate changes is a global goal. However, the effects of climate change and the current actions are not uniformly shared across the globe. The most important cities are currently leading the charge in addressing climate change and encouraging a green transition. However, their actions are being countered by increased carbon emissions and inaction elsewhere.

Spatial Education & African Cities

© Charlie Hui

Matri-Archi, a group based in South Africa and Switzerland that is led by Khensani de Klerk (architectural designer) and Solange Mobanefo (writer), aims to bring together African women for the advancement of spatial education within African cities. Matri-Archi is a collective that focuses on the empowerment and recognition of women in the architectural field and spatial design.

Intersectional Design

© Iwan Baan

Design is based on nuance, empathy, and understanding. The best solutions are based on the context, identity and context of the client and their place. These realities will inform the designer’s responses. Intersectional design is a way to think about how identity factors (gender and race, sexuality, gender, class, etc.) interact. Understanding how these factors interact allows us to better understand the context and individual users’ priorities.

Labor Rights and Work Conditions

© The Architecture Lobby

Many architects experience what they call “the slippery slope of becoming an architect” in their early years. Expectations do not match reality and the situation gets worse with time. The prestige of being an architect is evidently gone with the modern work environment.

How can “Smarter” cities help to reduce inequity

© Hao Chen

There are many stories in the urban centers of our planet. These cities are the home of stories of wealth, innovation, and architectural wonders. They also house stories of inequity, inequality and urban divides, places where one’s ability to control the quality of their surrounding environment. These stories have led to a growing desire to make cities smarter. The goal is to use digital technology and data to create more efficient and comfortable urban environments.

Architecture Decarbonization Strategies

© CO Adaptive Architecture

Although “decarbonization”, a term that has been popular in recent political speeches and international environmental events, has not received enough attention in architecture to fundamentally alter the way we design and build the future. If we want to reverse climate change, architects will play an important role.

What can design do to help in times of social crisis?

© Nicolás Valencia

Mass fare-dodging protests began in Chile after a 4 cent fair hike for Santiago’s Metro started on October 6. During the days that followed, violence erupted in Santiago as a result of the demonstrations. The Metro network was destroyed, riots erupted throughout the city, looting and fires were all out of control. The streets of Santiago were taken by surprise by this social discontent, but it quickly became apparent that the fair increase was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Queer Looks On Architecture

© Adli Wahid

Theorists and practitioners are increasingly discussing the effects of race and gender on architecture theory and practice. The relationship between the built environment and sexual orientation and gender identity is still a relatively unexplored area. This may be due to their invisibility or less obvious discriminatory consequences.

Equity is impossible

© Anne Fougeron

Duo Dickinson says that “equity”, as Duo Dickinson puts it, is a moving target. “Architects want their devotion to objective Equity. Motivations are not the end result. He continues to explain that the way we judge design is inevitably affected by “Style”, which makes universal equity in design impossible. The way we react to all things, even those that are designed, doesn’t have the luxury or universal equity of outcome.