For a Socialist Architecture. Part 2: The Principles of Architectural Practice

Architects for Social Housing (ASH)

1. The Duties of an Architect

In December 2015 the International Trade Union Confederation predicted that 7,000 construction workers will die on building sites in preparation for the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar, where 1.8 million migrant workers from India, Nepal, the Philippines, Egypt, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are kept in conditions of semi-slavery, with pay withheld, their passports confiscated, living in cramped work camps and labouring in 50 degree heat. In contrast, Qatar’s 278,000 citizens have the highest per capita income in the world. When criticised for the conditions of these workers in relation to her design for the Al Wakrah football stadium (above), one of eight being built for the tournament, Zaha Hadid responded:

‘I have nothing to do with the workers. I think that’s an issue the government should pick up. It’s not my duty as an architect to look at it.’

Article (ASH)

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