Emergent
Grounds for
Design
Education


a cogenerated catalogue of ongoing student and alumni practitioners organizing for antiracist, anticolonial, feminist education in the built environment design professions.


︎︎︎Theory of Change
︎︎︎Debts of Omission
︎︎︎Research and Survey

Archive


Accounting for the Debts of Exclusion

Our academic and credentialing institutions are designed to propagate knowledge within a limited terrain of inquiry. The status quo of anti-Blackness, White American and European supremacy, cisheteropatriarchy, and inaccessibility is a product of their systemic exclusion and erasure of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other people of color. The debts of omission incurred compounds with every cohort, generation after generation.

The summer 2020 uprising was an iteration of the Black Liberation struggle that breached the walls of academic institutions with calls to action from students, alumni, faculty and staff. These courageous documents articulate a transformative vision for repayment of that debt which will require sustained commitment in the coming years and decades.

Taken together, the statements crystalize what is owed.

We are currently in the process of analyzing 275+ demands from students, alumni and faculty of 44+ schools in the United States and Canada. We look forward to sharing the results of our research with you.


The seeds of the Emergent Grounds Archive were collected by our co-facilitators in the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021. The Collection includes 44 statements and lists of demands written by students, alumni, faculty and others, addressed to the leadership of North American architectural institutions.

Access each statement by clicking on the titles below. Statements are organized in alphabetical order by title. Multiple entries for the same institution reflect statements written by distinct groups of organizers to that institution’s leaders. 

10 Demands for Tulane Architecture
Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

a letter to Ryerson DAS
Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Ontario, CA

A Letter to the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA

A-School Call to Action
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

An Open Letter to the Faculty and Staff of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Black DUSP Thesis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

Call for Action
Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA

CED Architecture: A Call to Action
University of California, Berkeley, USA

COLLECTIVE OF STUDENTS WORK TO CREATE AN ANTI-RACIST INSTITUTION Cooper Union, New York, New York, USA

Comprehensive Diversity Initiative
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

Dear CAUS Administration
Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA

Dear CoAD Community and Dean Patricia Belton Oliver
University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA

Demands for an Anti-Racist School & What is to be done? a statement of solidarity
Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Design Justice Actions for Taubman College
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Design Justice at Pitt
University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Design Justice for Black Lives
University of Maryland College Park, USA

Do the Work: Demands for Action and Accountability in the MIT Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA

GSAPP Responds
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

Letter to the AAP Community and Dean Meejin Yoon
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA

Notes on Credibility
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA

On Dismantling Systemic Anti-Black Racism
University of Toronto, Ontario, CA

On the Futility of Listening
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

Open Letter on Anti-Racism to the PSoA
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Open Letter to the Andrews University School of Architecture & Interior Design
Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA

Open Letter to YSoA in Support of BLM
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Re: SALA’s Statement: “Support for Black Lives Matter”
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, CA

Response to the Dean of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design from Inclusion in Design
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

RISD Architecture NOMAS Response
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA

RISD BI+POC Student Demands for Racial Equity & Inclusion
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA

RSA Call to Action
Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA

Syracuse Architecture Student & Alumni Response to the Killing of George Floyd
Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA

TTU Call to Action
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA

The Design School at ASU Design Justice Initiative
Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

The Limits of Your Recognition: Race and Diversity at the Department of Architecture
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

thoughts on…
Tulane School of Architecture, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

UCLA Architecture and Urban Design Call to Action
University of California, Los Angeles, USA

University of Florida SoA Call to Action
University of Florida, Tallahassee, USA

University of Waterloo School of Architecture Racial Equity and Environmental Justice Task Force
University of Waterloo, Ontario, CA

Unlearning Whiteness
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

USC ROSKI - Black Student Demands
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

UTSOA Undergraduate Demands For Equity
University of Texas, Austin, USA

We find ourselves in a time when history seems to be repeating itself.
University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA

WHERE IS DAL ARCH?
Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, CA


Emergent
Grounds for
Design
Education


a cogenerated archive of ongoing student and alumni practitioners organizing for antiracist, anticolonial, feminist education in the built environment design professions.


︎︎︎Archive
︎︎︎Past Surveys
︎︎︎Current Affairs
︎︎︎Take Action