Architecture • Sociology

$49.95 (Hard Cover )

The Architecture of Change: Building a Better World

The Architecture of Change: Building a Better World is a collection of articles 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, 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. These unsung heroes are teachers and artists, immigrants and activists, grandmothers in the projects, students and planners, architects and residents of some of our poorest places. 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.


“The call for change is everywhere, yet how to define it and how to achieve it remain vague. The Architecture of Change: Building a Better World is a unique book that documents how ordinary people have the power to transform their environments. It is a celebration of human diversity and a call for increased attention to our communities. This inspiring book explores the issues of equity, alternative forms of living, new concepts of urbanism, and the power of social networks.”—Governor Bill Richardson, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Congressman, Secretary of Energy, Governor of New Mexico, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee

“This book captures the essence of the creative American spirit at work in our too often underserved communities. It will be an inspiring guide to all generations of designers and artists—students, faculty, and practitioners—looking for a purpose in their careers. In these times of depressing recession, this uplifting book not only makes me feel proud to be an architect, but also to be an American. There is hope in this country—and a lot of homemade beauty!”—Michael Pyatok, FAIA, winner of many awards including the 2013 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture in recognition of his work in affordable housing, which includes more than 35,000 units for low-income communities

“An invaluable inspiration and source book for independent action on behalf of those forgotten by the bureaucracies. From sidewalk living rooms to restoration of lost histories, to schools, soup kitchens, murals, and especially a vast array of possibilities for affordable housing, the result is a blueprint for a more caring society. Artists, architects, community activists, squatters, and planners have taken to heart the radical grassroots credo: “Nothing About Us Without Us is For Us.” Each chapter reinforces the power of imagination, self-determination, and persistence familiar to those of us who were devoted readers of DESIGNER/builder. As painter Lily Yeh says: "If we fail we fail. No big deal. Try again." So read it, get fired up, and get busy.”—Lucy Lippard, writer, activist and curator in the fields of feminism, art, politics, and place, and author of many books including The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicentered Society 

The Architecture of Change combines a passion for social justice with its love for the people who transform urban life in countless small and large acts of resistance and creativity. It focuses on the most critical issues facing low-income communities of color and depicts residents as protagonists of change. The authors, most notably Kingsley Hammett, show how complex notions of architecture, design, and planning can be accessible to all when ideas are conveyed using clear and direct narratives.”—Tom Angotti, professor of urban affairs and planning, Hunter College and Graduate School, City University of New York, and author of New York For Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate

“This new book, selected from DESIGNER/builder’s brief life of fifteen years, cut off by Kingsley Hammett’s abrupt death in 2008, will make us sad to have lost one of America’s great ‘little magazines.’ But the book will also make us happy. It is full of engaging and exciting material. Kingsley and Jerilou Hammett brought together a great abundance of environmental history just as it was being made. This book demonstrates that, despite all the powerful forces bent on taking our world away from us, people don’t let them. We have the capacity, the imagination, and the energy to fight back and make the world our own.”—Marshall Berman, Distinguished Professor, City College/City University of New York, and author of All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity and many other books and articles on politics and culture

113 halftones

7 x 10 328 pages