Another month saw the second publication by Hurst Publications of writing by our Director Shanka Mesa Siverio in a return visit by Editors of the Critical Muslim. This time it was even harder to refuse the commission which offered the immense subject of Climate Change as the topic of choice, alongside participation from Extinction Rebellion.
As the RIBA and many high-profile practices and local councils declare climate emergencies, there is a sense that institutions are finally beginning to take meaningful action. As a small practice, we do what we can, even going so far as to turn down commissions that run counter to our aims and principles. More proactively we've engaged with our local community, which we believe could be at the root of many of the solutions to the big issues.
What we've found is that things are more easily said than done.
'Prosperous Communities' is a response to recent experiences with local groups and a deliberate focus on the social aspects of sustainability within development as much as the economic and environmental ones. As a practitioner of Urban Design & Sustainable Place Making (yes, this is an actual masters course) it has also been an opportunity to take a critical look at the theoretical position I once developed in education. Written for an academic and critically Islamic audience, it also explores the core concepts of what it means to live a good life (a point which Architects cannot be neutral about) and borrows its title from Tim Jackson's 2010 publication, Prosperity without Growth.