February’s editorial about the 2016 Pritzker Prize touched on an important shift occurring within the field toward a more socially engaged model of architecture. I was intrigued by Cathleen’s provocative analysis and the many other articles published on this topic since the award. Cathleen’s point that architects are starting to address “the world’s most urgent problems” could not be more applauded and needed today.
I believe that the resurgence of what the Pritzker jury referred to as the “socially engaged architect” is meaningful because our profession has so much capacity to develop real solutions to global challenges like climate change, urban resilience, economic development, population growth, severe poverty, and the global housing crisis. With the level of need around us in the U.S. and abroad, we should all embrace this direction, and perhaps there are ways to go even further.