The Archiboo Awards has announced the shortlist for the Activism prize – supported by SOM and Buro Happold – now in its second year. The award was launched in 2021 to recognise the growing role of architects and communities as they take direct action to tackle key issues within the built environment. This year’s shortlist include activists from the UK, United States and Australia, addressing racial inequality, gender disparity, homelessness and LGBTQ+ rights.
The built environment has a long-standing relationship with activism, reflected by one of the sponsors for this year’s award, SOM. Their founder Nathaniel Owings was a noted environmental activist in the 1960s. However, there has been a recent resurgence in activism across the world and this inspired Archiboo to create a new category in its Awards programme. Last year’s winner, Amy Francis Smith, is leading the challenge in the UK for disability access in housing.
The shortlist includes the US-based Segregation by Design, a visual project that documents and clearly outlines where large urban upheaval has devastated non-white communities. Parlour was set up in Australia to address equity in architecture and showcase the role of women in architecture through research, engagement and advocacy.
Transition by Design in Oxford, UK has located and utilised empty or underused spaces in the city to help support the homeless community. Architecture LGBT+ provides a safe, inclusive and prejudice-free environment for LGBT+ architects and those working and studying within the profession through networking events, learning, mentoring, and role models. HomeGrown+ was founded by Neil Pinder to improve diversity within architecture and the creative industries, creating opportunities for students from non-traditional and traditional backgrounds.
Amanda Baillieu, founder of the Archiboo Awards, said: “We’re so pleased to have received a record number of entries for this year’s Activism Award. It just goes to show that this activity within the built environment is no flash in the pan, and that many of these practices and groups will bring about real change within their respective communities. We look forward to exploring their submissions and crowning the 2022 recipient of the prize.”