From the recent backlash of Libeskinds’ claim to boycott working in China, to the call for a ‘Code of Ethics’ from Architects/Designers/Planners for Social Responsibility, the politics of the global built environment is undergoing perpetual debate. Some argue that ‘starchitects’ only have short-term political agendas in search for publicity stunts. Others claim that all designers and architects should be allowed to choose by themselves what they believe to be moral without the pressure of social responsibility.
It’s welcome news that a new government-backed design lab, to be launched this month, will aim to influence how government services are run. Yet it’s also cause for concern. There can be no doubt that designers make a positive impact on many people’s lives — especially when they help people access online government services more easily. Continue Reading