Architect's Role in Creating Equitable Communities: Within Practice

Precedent images for a mood board visioning activity

Community members sharing ideas at a visioning workshop

Reconsidering architecture firm culture offers an opportunity to remake our offices as places of welcoming and belonging for all people, especially those with identities and experiences not widely represented in the field. Who is at the table/in the office/on the team directly affects what is being discussed and what solutions are being brought forward. From research to design decisions and community engagement, asking the right questions is key to identifying the best design solutions. Homogenous teams may limit what questions are asked, while diverse teams add value, make firms more competitive by offering new insights and connections to diverse clients and communities, and result in richer and more responsive projects.  

“Increasing diversity, and thus perspectives, experiences, and empathy, in architecture can better prepare clients to address current needs and future unknowns. Moreover, a representative profession won’t benefit just one company, university, or city. Rather, its impact will radiate and weave into the fabric of our communities while dispersing the planning power held largely by wealthy white individuals and institutions.” -Anjulie Rao, The Pursuit and Promise of Equity in Architecture.1


[1] Anjulie Rao. “The Pursuit and Promise of Equity in Architecture.” Architect Magazine. 20 Oct 2021.

Image credits

Precedent images for a mood board visioning activity

Side A Photography