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Who Builds Your Architecture? Workshop

  • Studio Gang 1520 West Division Street Chicago, IL, 60642 United States (map)

The workshop Who Builds Your Architecture? will bring together architects, scholars, students, planners, activists and artists to examine how the construction industry produces buildings, in other words how buildings are not only conceived by architects, but also how they are materialized by a network that mobilizes architects, construction workers, and a host of other actors. This links local construction processes to national networks and to global ones. The construction industry employs an array of actors linked via legal, financial, and professional relationships—architects, construction managers, engineers, contractors, consultants, and construction workers, who also move around cities, countries, and the globe but in very unequal ways. This expansive field of operations has led to the atomization and dispersion of fields related to the design and construction of built projects, and the proliferation of contractual legal ties binding them together.

Issues to be explored in the afternoon workshop include “Local/Global Processes of Practice and Construction,” which will examine impact of new technologies of construction processes, the varying conditions of work at job sites, including worker safety and site observation, contractual relationships, the housing of workers and local/global networks of construction. The text for the basis of discussion will be the newly released Critical Field Guide. While its text takes as its point of departure challenges facing migrant construction workers on global projects in the Middle East, many of these issues are relevant to cities like Chicago and for projects being built in the United States. These workshop topics will be collectively discussed to develop ideas of best practices on job sites and ideas for activism to change current conditions.