Dezeen Magazine

Photograph by Marc Goodwin

Architects encouraged to walk out in Trump wall protest

US organisation The Architecture Lobby is proposing a national day of action this Friday in opposition of the Mexican border wall planned by president Donald Trump.

The Brooklyn-based organisation is calling for architects and engineers to take a stand against the proposal by leaving their desks for 45 minutes in demonstration.

"While there are innumerable reasons to stand against the immigration policies of the current administration and this project specifically, this call is motivated by the belief that the fields of architecture, and engineering are fundamentally rooted in a goal to improve our societies by producing structures that render them more just, more equitable, and more beautiful," said The Architecture Lobby.

"The southwestern border wall stands in clear and direct opposition to this goal."

The aim is for participants across the US to walk out simultaneously – at 4pm EST, 3pm CST, 2pm MST and 1pm PST.

They are encouraged to share photos of their empty desks on social media, using #notourwall.

"By participating in this day of action," said The Architecture Lobby, "architects and engineers will make clear not only to the current and future administrations, but also to themselves and each other, that their agency will not be exploited in the service of xenophobia, discrimination and racism."

The planned protest will coincide with the submission deadline for proposals for the design and construction of the border wall.

Submissions are being accepted over a five-day period that began 6 March 2017, while full proposals from those shortlisted will be due on 24 March 2017 and a design will be chosen by mid-April.

"These concerns have taken on a renewed urgency," said The Architecture Lobby.

The organisation, which advocates more rewarding and socially relevant architecture, joins the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in taking a stance against immigration policies set out by Trump's administration.

US tech companies and prominent American architects have also denounced travel restrictions imposed on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries.

The border wall has remained controversial since it was first mooted by Trump during his presidential campaign.

In response, suggested alternatives have included a satirical Luis Barragán-inspired pink barrier, a series of landscaped features instead of a wall or fence, and an Ikea flat-pack kit.

Photograph by Marc Goodwin of Vector Architects as part of his photo series on architecture studios in Beijing.