Proactive Practice

Jackie Hensy + Tristan Walker
Design by Robert Baxter

What is lost when our environments are shaped by private interest?

Late capitalism favors profit over public benefit and short-term gain over long-term vitality. Responsibility for the production of space has been contracted out to the market. As speculative development and fast-paced growth transform urban space, architects must not be complacent in service to the market economy.

How can we practice architecture as thoughtful members of our communities and reclaim a meaningful role in the production of space?

Proactive Practice examines how architects self-initiate projects to reinforce vibrant and adaptive communities. Through the lens of five architects’ practices and their progressive work, different models and scales of intervention are presented to encourage us to question the malleability of our environment. These case studies are evidence of alternative modes of practice that work within the realities of the world, yet circumvent normative systems.

21st century developments continue to bring us increasingly closer in proximity while simultaneously establishing new barriers to human connection. Can we imagine new ways in which to cohabitate on earth and support one another? Are we still able to imagine a better future? The practices shown here can hint at a future role for architects. This investigation serves as a call for all creative disciplines to engage as activists in the search for new urban potentialities.