“ 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.”—Choice
"The Architecture of Change: Building a Better World is the perfect title for this inspiring collection of articles, mostly by the late Kingsley Hammett. Written in lucid prose, these essays bring to life the historic human struggle to create a democratic, equitable and sustainable existence, narrating the personal stories of people who have contributed to the making of a better, more just society through reshaping the built landscape. The concerned citizen/activists whose lived experiences fill the pages of this journalistic tour de force – be they squatters, artists, immigrants, residents of public housing, or architects – show us that with creativity and determination, places of poverty and neglect can be transformed into places of human dignity and pride. Their riveting stories are essential reading for anyone interested in the complex social processes and power struggles involved in building and controlling space, and the creation of safe, healthy, socially inclusive and ecologically resilient buildings and communities."
“We have been taught in many ways to separate in our thoughts social and political activities from the physical structures and communities in which they occur. Yet every window, path, façade, hallway, crumbled wall, gathering place, or smiling graffiti silently interrupts these thoughts and affects their direction. The Architecture of Change: Building a Better World turns this silence into words that we can understand, appreciate, and use. It gives us numerous wonderful examples of how physical form and the dreams of our minds can join in a powerful coalition to create a kinder, wiser world."
“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!”
“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. The magazine showed us, and the book brings to life today, a tremendous assortment of people, all over North America, young and old, economically comfortable or poor or close to poor, ethnically similar or totally diverse, conceptually sophisticated or making up their environment from day to day, as if it were poetry. The fact that such diversity could fit into the same magazine yesterday, and define the same book today, makes it clear to us that, in spite of 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. Nearly two centuries ago, when Alexis de Tocqueville called his book Democracy in America, I doubt that anybody understood that he was only writing page one, and that the book of democracy in America is still alive, still being written and lived today.”
"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."
" The Architecture of Change is 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 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 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."