Not my job? Architecture, responsibility, and justice in a Booming African Metropolis: architecture, responsibility and inequalities in an African metropolis

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Abstract

Calls for professional ethics and lawful conduct pervade the ways architects assess their contributions to urban development and ground their sense of responsibility towards the city and its dwellers. However, the centrality of professional ethics in architectural practice constitutes a way of delimiting the extent of this responsibility, rather than triggering a commitment to achieve greater social justice. By investigating the place of architecture in the development of Addis Ababa, a booming African metropolis, this article offers a critique of professional ethics, and an examination of how professional practice could be otherwise. I document how a limited number of architects seek to break rank to take responsibility for the ways social inequalities are reinforced in the process of urban change. I explore how individual attempts to change the terms and narratives of one’s relatedness to the plight of unknown others can make achieving social justice a potential objective of urban politics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-401
Number of pages27
JournalAnthropological Quarterly
Volume92
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • architecture
  • professional ethics
  • responsibility
  • justice development
  • Africa rising
  • Ethiopia

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