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  3. Callous Indifference or Fetishizing Poverty: What Exactly Can Architects Do About Slums?

Callous Indifference or Fetishizing Poverty: What Exactly Can Architects Do About Slums?

Callous Indifference or Fetishizing Poverty: What Exactly Can Architects Do About Slums?
Callous Indifference or Fetishizing Poverty: What Exactly Can Architects Do About Slums?, The Torre David in Caracas, the subject of Urban Think Tank's research for the 2012 Venice Biennale. Image © Iwan Baan
The Torre David in Caracas, the subject of Urban Think Tank's research for the 2012 Venice Biennale. Image © Iwan Baan

In an excellent essay for the Architectural Review, Charlotte Skene Catling deftly ties together a number of recent debates in the field of morality in architecture, from the false accusations aimed at Zaha Hadid by critic Martin Fuller to recent debates over whether architects have any responsibility to tackle poverty, an ostensibly political issue. Taking aim at one article in particular - in which Dan Hancox argues that architects such as Urban Think Tank who engage in humanitarian work are often 'fetishizing poverty' - Catling dissects the work of many of those in the field to find that they in fact do vital work to connect the top-down and bottom-up approaches that would otherwise never meet in the middle. Or, as Urban Think Tank's Alfredo Brillembourg says, in opposition to the horizontal city of the 19th century or the vertical city of the 20th, "the 21st century must be for the diagonal city, one that cuts across social divisions." Click here to read the article in full.

Cite: Rory Stott. "Callous Indifference or Fetishizing Poverty: What Exactly Can Architects Do About Slums?" 24 Sep 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/551050/callous-indifference-or-fetishizing-poverty-what-exactly-can-architects-do-about-slums/> ISSN 0719-8884