What is the social responsibility of architects?

Architects have a social responsibility to understand the true needs of the ones that they are serving. Sometimes the needs of the people of the community and the needs of the surrounding environment are not the same. Architecture should not be a competition for fame or recognition. It should be designed primarily to serve.

Architecture should also work well its surroundings. This may not seem to be a social responsibility at first, but if the architecture takes away from the existing environment, the social understanding of that environment will have been damaged. The architecture should complement its surroundings, not necessarily in its appearance, but in its program and pathways/movement.

Architecture is political but is somewhat the political outlook of the client who has the money and is hiring the architect. The architect, who works for the client, portrays the views of that client. Architecture should serve the people but because of the clients control this is hard. Therefore architects have to decide whether to serve the client or the people.

Architecture is just mixed in with the politics, the politics are what determines the architecture; not the other way around.

I believe architects can actually make a political statement in their buildings. Some say that because the client is the one with the money, their building will be built their way and the architect is there to serve them. Others, like the TAR believe the architect should be building for the people even though this is usually different than the client. What if an architect was asked to do a project that required tearing down parts of the rainforest? If one architect has a moral opinion on a matter, a client would just find another architect without this viewpoint. Should the architect should jump in, do the project and ease the situation or if he should not take the job, knowing that another architect will probably take the job and might do something even worse?


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