The Architecture Lobby is a new organization that advocates for the value of architecture in the general public but also to raise awareness inside the profession of working conditions for the majority of its practitioners. It also focuses on working conditions for young designers as they leave school and enter the profession—most with little awareness of the actual conditions of their labor and pay. The lobby has just staged two actions where it publicly read its manifesto of architectural labor-first at the Venice Architecture Biennale and recently at the AIA’s national convention in Chicago. In Chicago, the lobby was thrown off the convention floor by testy AIA officials who don’t want to think about the meaning of the Lobby’s protest.
Now the Lobby will stage it’s first public action in New York but it in a much more supportive environment—The Ronald Feldman Gallery which is currently staging an exhibition called Labor Intensive. The exhibit, curated by Elaine Angelopoulos and Scott Vincent Campbell, highlights art work that focuses on issues of labor that expand the defined role it plays in our individual lives and society. The exhibit features artists Eleanor Antin, Conrad Atkinson, Joseph Beuys, Heather Cassils, Nancy Chunn, Christine Hill, Simone Jones, Komar & Melamid, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and Hannah Wilke. All the work in the show approaches labor from different viewpoints, but the curators also highlight the beauty and dignity in the work and its potential to be powerful forces for change.
The Architecture Lobby event will take place this Thursday, July 17 from 6:00–8:00 p.m. at the gallery (31 Mercer Street, between Grand and Canal streets). The gallery will graciously provide wine and appetizers. Come and meet the members of the Lobby and hear about its labor manifesto and future planned actions.