Architecture and Sociology

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The Architecture of Change: Building a Better World

Edited by Jerilou Hammett
Edited by Maggie Wrigley

The Architecture of Change is a collection of essays that demonstrates the power of the human spirit to transform the environments in which we live. This inspiring book profiles people who refused to accept that things couldn’t change, who saw the possibility of making something better and didn’t hesitate to act.

Breaking down the stereotypes surrounding “socially engaged architecture,” this book shows who can actually impact the lives of communities. Like Bernard Rudofsky’s seminal Architecture Without Architects: A Short Introduction to Non-Pedigreed Architecture, it explores communal architecture produced not by specialists but by people, drawing on their common lives and experiences, who have a unique insight into their particular needs and environments. Running through their stories is a constant theme of social justice as an underlying principle of the built environment. This book is about opening one’s eyes to new ways of interpreting the world, and how to go about changing it.


Jerilou Hammett and Kingsley Hammett cofounded DESIGNER/builder: A Journal of the Human Environment. Together they wrote The Essence of Santa Fe: From a Way of Life to a Style and coedited The Suburbanization of New York: Is the World’s Greatest City Becoming Just Another Town?

Maggie Wrigley lives in New York City. She works with the squatters’ movement and the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space. Her work has appeared in DESIGNER/builder, The Suburbanization of New York, and the New York Daily News.


The Architecture of Change is a must-read. . . . Reminding people about the need for systemic change and the belief that change is possible when those affected lead is the legacy that The Architecture of Change celebrates.”


The Architect’s Newspaper

“The cumulative weight of the volume goes beyond the anecdotal and episodic to create a rich picture of the theory, history, and practice of grassroots activism. . . . The book, in addition to being informative and provocative, is a pleasure to read.”


Progressive Planning

“Collectively, the articles (in The Architecture of Change) convey the message that ordinary people, young and old, despite obstacles (mainly poverty), can effectively design neighborhoods, build houses and playgrounds, and in other ways shape sustainable communities.”



7 x 10 in. 328 pages 113 halftones