Just the FAECTs: Organizing technical work from the 1930s to now


Just the FAECTs
Organizing technical work from the 1930s to now

Organized by:
The Architecture Lobby Green New Deal Working Group & The Alternative Building Industry Collective

May 16, 2024

People’s Forum
320 W 37th St
New York, NY 10018


Event Description

Recent labor organizing in architecture and engineering is unprecedented in recent history. Looking further back, though, we find a rich history of architects and other technical workers organizing together better working working conditions and, more than that, a better world. 

This event will trace connections between the present moment and the organizing work done by the Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians (FAECT) in the 1930s and 1940s. FAECT was a large and thriving organization with thousands of members, the exploits of which were extensively documented in their monthly Bulletin

In the Bulletin, we find a world close to our own: architects and engineers experiencing the abuses of the atelier system, organizing against racialized exclusion, fearing automation, and observing mounting ecological devastation. 

And we also find a world unlike our own—where workers from across disciplines organize together to both better their working conditions and to lead an equitable transformation of the built environment. As we organize toward the same, we look back at the lessons of the 1930s. We look to FAECT.


Chris Dols (Alternative Building Industry Collective)


James Heard (Professionalism), Joshua Barnett (Labor History), Jack Rusk (Role of Technical Work), Adare Brown (Housing, Race & Gender), Shannan Clark (Education)


10 min FAECT (who, what, where, why)

15 min Panelists look to FAECT

60 min Discussion

Read more:
The Alternative Building Collective, “Our best organizer,” The Avery Review, No. 66. https://www.averyreview.com/issues/66/our-best-organizer


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