Architecture in the Plasticene – Milliken and the AIA

Join the fight to take down the carpet plastocracy!

​The significant innovations to reduce emission developed by scientists and technicians at Milliken and other companies, which if expropriated and placed under rational democratic control, could be an essential component of future industry.  While the political will to achieve this shows, at present, little sign of coalescing, such a movement will hopefully build strength. In the meantime . . . ,

  1. ​The AIA can no longer claim to be both non-partisan and credible on climate. Its incoming young leadership has the opportunity to finally say goodbye to the days of genteel patronage. It must stop uncritically amplifying the marketing copy of corporate polluters if its climate goals are to be taken seriously, or risk being written off as an antiquarian relic.
  2. Designers and procurement professionals must refuse to be enlisted as agents of the fossil fuel industry. The burgeoning unionization movement within architecture may eventually provide design workers the organizational power to do so. A worker-based set of standards, established independently of editorial control by firm management, could be incorporated into collective bargaining agreements, providing the leverage to supersede building codes, accrediting bodies, industry norms, and break decisively from a system of coerced complicity.

Martin Weiner is an architectural worker with nearly 30 years’ experience, primarily in the commercial interiors sector. His current interests center around climate action and architectural labor. He is a longtime member of The Architecture Lobby and founding member of The Alternative Building Industry Collective. He tweets under the handle @m_hotmessgandhi.


  • ABC School Closing Plenary

    ABC School Closing Plenary

    This event is being held at two different times to accommodate participants across the globe.

  • Nurturing Equal Value for All

    Nurturing Equal Value for All

    This event will screen two videos from Sanjeev Sanjar – reflecting on and analysing two collaborative projects from india, which have explored collective potential within complementary contexts. ​“Jugaad” explored recycling and repurposing within an urban village of Delhi, and has inspired critical discourse on “resource” within the built environment. ​“Syrwet U Barim Mariang Jingkieng Jri […]

  • From the Ground Up: Building Solidarity in Somerville through Aspirational Design

    From the Ground Up: Building Solidarity in Somerville through Aspirational Design

    ALL ARCHITECTURE IS POLITICAL. ​ALL POLITICS ARE LOCAL. ​COMMUNITY POWER IS BUILT, NOT GIVEN. ​What does it mean to build community in a broken world? As architects working in the public sphere, we are cast into a predatory system that divides people. Networks of capital, privatization, inequity, gentrification, and displacement all convene to fracture human […]