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Muschamp, Herbert. (1994). ARCHITECTURE VIEW; Architecture As Social Action, And Vice Versa, The New York Times.

In this article, Muschamp (1994) tackles the social aspects of architecture, in particular, stardom vs. responsibility. This would be viewed as a debate on the place of architects in the society, in particular, between stardom and responsibility. From a critical standpoint, architects have a responsibility to the society. Based on this article, this responsibility includes a duty to the homeless. The critics for architect stars base their arguments on the idea that, architects have a duty to the homeless and thus, they should not enjoy the stardom that comes with successful work in the field just because there are homeless people.  This perception would be considered to be a misunderstanding because, while architects have a duty to ensure standard and livable structures, their responsibility doesn’t include ensuring the public welfare, as that’s the duty of the governing authorities. This there leads one to wonder: where does, if any, the distinction lie between architect stars and responsibility?

Muzaffar, I. (2014). ““The World on Sale”: Architectural Exports and Construction of Access.” In Gilabert, E.F., Lawrence, A.R., Miljački, A. & Schafer, A., OfficeUS Agenda, Lars Müller Publishers, Zürich, Switzerland. P. 215-227.

In this article, Muzaffar (2014) explores the relationship between architects and the society in the sense of overcoming the constraints that face the society with relation to architectural projects. This is achieved through a review of materials addressing the subject and through the presentation of a third world ‘case study’. In a third world community, an architect is faced with limited resources and other restraints among them culture. Muzaffar explores how an architect working on a project in this environment would address these restraints to provide viable solutions to the communities. Through this work, Muzaffar illustrates the social responsibility architects have to the society in the course of their work. However, when reading this work one cannot avoid but to wonder, to what extent is the architect social responsibility in providing solutions to societies they work in, and what’s the extent of this responsibility in relation to other stakeholders among them, the consumers and governing authorities?

Lepik, A. (2010). Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement, Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.).

In this book, Lepik (2010) examines the changing standards of responsibility and participation in architectural work and how architects can partake in the larger socio-eco-political issues that face communities. In doing this, the author presents built works in underserved communities all over the world by eleven architects. These architects have developed architectural solutions specific to the needs of their target communities and have done this without sacrificing aesthetics concerns. Through their work, these architects contribute to the debate on role, methods, approaches, and responsibility of architects to the society. In addition, these projects provide a wider definition of sustainability, to include economic and social sustainability. This, therefore, leads the reader to wonder, what is the role of the consumer in the designing phase of architectural products and how can architects engage them?


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