Citizen of Architecture

If a citizen is to be “a legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized,” (according to Google) couldn’t we say in a way, each one of us is a citizen of architecture?

First off, I’m not a lawyer; I’m an architect. But it seems to me that in order for this logic to work, there needs to be a greater understanding that architecture belongs to its people—assuming that we are operating in a democratic hypothetical.

In many ways, it already does. Sadly, we know that many times, it does not.

For me, a citizen architect is a citizen of architecture—one that recognizes that the built environment is for the shared benefit of a culture. It does not serve to exclude. It does not serve to punish. It celebrates gathering spaces. The culture builds appropriately sized, energy-efficient, healthy buildings. It builds unique spaces for the in-between. It celebrates life, light, and play. It makes sure we comfortably spend our day.

The state of architecture is as diverse as its citizens—and this includes more than just architects.

This post was written as part of Bob Borson’s #ArchiTalks series—a monthly series to encourage architects to write about a single topic. This month’s topic is “Citizen Architect.” Please see links below to check out the views of others:


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Emily is an Architect, Mother of 2, and Somerville, MA resident.

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