The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture stands firmly behind statements from the architecture profession in opposition to the potential Executive Order requiring that all Federal architecture be designed in a neoclassical style.
As the American Institute of Architects (AIA) states, architects work with communities to assess the most appropriate architecture for projects. Enforcing a style for Federal architecture ignores input from the people who would be affected by these projects. Such standards would make decisions about buildings before the appropriate programming and design processes happen, leading to increased costs carried by U.S. taxpayers.
We support the statement from the National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA) that the predetermined choice of a neoclassical style privileges a set of cultural experiences that are not shared by everyone. The style of such buildings can “stand as symbols and painful reminders of centuries of oppression and the harsh realities of racism.”
Finally, ACSA echoes the AIA’s call for the continuation of the General Services Administration’s Design Excellence Program, which establishes a style-neutral approach that focuses on community-centered decision-making, demonstrated architectural skill, and public input.