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.


︎︎︎Archive
︎︎︎Past Surveys
︎︎︎Current Affairs
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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
Instagram post


a letter to Ryerson DAS
Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, Ontario, CA
ryersondasarc.cargo.site (no longer active)


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


A-School Call to Action
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA
Google doc (no longer active)


An Open Letter to the Faculty and Staff of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
openlettertorrsla.wixsite.com/sign


Black DUSP Thesis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA
Google doc 


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


CED Architecture: A Call to ActionUniversity of California, Berkeley, USA
Google doc


COLLECTIVE OF STUDENTS WORK TO CREATE AN ANTI-RACIST INSTITUTION
Cooper Union, New York, New York, USA
Collective Student Letter on Fostering an Actively Anti-Racist Institution


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


NOMAS@VT Statement on Racism
Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
June 2020 Statement on Racism


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


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
https://designjusticeactions.cargo.site (no longer active)


Design Justice at Pitt
University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
https://designjusticeatpitt.weebly.com/


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
tublackarchalumni.cargo.site (no longer active)


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
︎︎︎Listen In
︎︎︎Take Action