A Convergence: A Summary
Updated: May 9, 2019
November 29, 2018 | by Rachel Wong; photos by Courtney Ho
In November 2018, Equality in Architecture representatives Courtney Ho, Jillian Ellis, Laure Nolte, and Jen Frail had the invaluable opportunity to learn from and engage with other equality-focused groups at the Harvard GSD Women in Design conference “A Convergence | at the Confluence of Power, Identity, and Design“. Their discoveries were shared with the Dalhousie School of Architecture and sponsors and the presentation can be found here.
Overall, the conference was a positive and eye-opening experience to learn about and engage with the number of other equality-focused student groups and their accomplishments in advocating for equality in architecture. With that being said, we identified four overall takeaways from the Convergence:
A need for new spaces and platforms to build discussion and networks
There is still a need for new spaces and platform, among those who participated from across the Eastern States and the few Canadians present as well, to build progressive discussion and networks. The Convergence was a pinnacle example of what EiA can strive for within our local region.
Revise educational canon
The current North American educational canon is outdated and needs to be revised. The people within the education and practice of architecture are looking for new content that better reflect us; a composition of people that include visible minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community, children, adults, the elderly, women, men, a globe of many nations, and those with impairments.
Change design discourse
The current design discourse requires revisions. However, this is asking for a cultural change which can be at first overwhelming to tackle. For EiA, we ask ourselves: how do we build a new culture that echoes this discourse? How can we first achieve this at school?
Recognize Canadian context
EiA attended the Convergence in Boston which is an environment that is not too far away; though our country’s multicultural and political differences from the U.S. should be considered and readjusted when addressing contemporary architectural issues within the Canadian context.