March 9, 2022
by AIA New York

As the war in Ukraine continues, architects and designers from New York and around the world have expressed their solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Several architecture firms and collaborators with New York offices have lent their voices to the crisis through statements condemning the invasion or pledges to stop work in Russia:

  • AECOM: In a statement announcing the firm’s “immediate exit from our business operations in Russia,” AECOM CEO Troy Rudd stated, “We support the people of Ukraine who are facing tremendous suffering as a result of Russia’s unlawful invasion. Russia’s actions are inconsistent with AECOM’s values and have compromised the business environment for AECOM, our clients, and our joint activities in Russia.”
  • Bjarke Ingels Group: “BIG joins the international community in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, our colleagues, friends and families in the region. BIG is not engaged in any projects in Russia or for the Russian government anywhere and our support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, democracy, human rights and territorial integrity is unwavering.”
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Liz Diller issued the following statement to Architectural Record: “We are horrified by Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, especially the indiscriminate destruction of civilian areas. As bombs drop on Kyiv and its Babyn Yar memorial, the site of a Nazi massacre, we are deeply anguished that this unprovoked assault compounds a long history of crimes perpetrated against the Ukrainian people. While standing in solidarity with Ukraine and hoping that diplomacy will ultimately prevail, we are actively investigating ways that we, as architects, can help. One immediate aim is to converge expertise from the architecture community in support of international agencies and local governments as they provide emergency housing for the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing the war.”
  • Foster + Partners: “We deplore the Russian invasion of Ukraine and as a result we have stopped work on all our projects in Russia.”
  • OMA: “Following the aggression in Ukraine, initiated by the Russian leadership, OMA has suspended all work on Russian projects until further notice. We hope this tragic war ends sooner rather than later.”
  • Snøhetta: “As we witness the shocking tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, we stand in solidarity with all people who are defying and protesting against the war. Snøhetta condemns all acts of violence and we send our heartfelt thoughts to the people of Ukraine and everyone affected.”

Dezeen reports that the National Union of Architects of Ukraine has called on the International Union of Architects (UIA) to revoke Russia’s membership. While UIA publicly denounced the invasion, they have not announced Russia’s removal from the organization. In a statement on the UIA website, President José Luis Cortés states, “The International Union of Architects strongly condemns the invasion of a sovereign nation, Ukraine by Russia. We further condemn the inequities that emerge from war including racial prejudices at border crossings, loss of homes of many innocent people and most importantly, the loss of life. We implore the Government of Russia to bring an immediate cessation of this war.”

Meanwhile, an open letter against the invasion signed by more than 6,500 Russian architects and urban planners was taken down on March 4, after Putin signed a law criminalizing public opposition to the war.  The letter was replaced by an image of Pablo Picasso’s white dove.

Several cultural heritage groups have also weighed in on the crisis. UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has called for the “protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage, which bears witness to the country’s rich history, and includes its seven World Heritage sites.” The organization has demanded “the immediate cessation of attacks on civilian facilities, such as schools, universities, memorial sites, cultural and communication infrastructures” and condemned “the attack that affected the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial, the site of one of the largest mass shootings of Jews during World War II.” Meanwhile, the World Monuments Fund has called for the respect of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

If you’re looking for ways to help, AIA National has also shared a list of organizations, compiled and vetted by the American Society of Association Executives, providing assistance to Ukraine.

 

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