The United States faces two immense and inextricable challenges: how to reimagine the American way of life to address the impacts of climate change, and how to build a new and robust economic structure that offers viable and sustainable livelihoods and lifestyles across the income spectrum for all Americans. The Architectural League has launched The Five Thousand Pound Life—an initiative of public events, digital releases, and a major design study—as a contribution to what must be a broad collective effort spanning geographies, generations, occupations, disciplines, and ideologies to address those intertwined challenges.
To present a vast scope of relevant issues with navigational and conceptual clarity, content is grouped here into themes of Economics & Investment, Engagement & Practice, Design & Technology, and Communication & Ethics. Visit these 5KL theme pages using the links below to find a range of content from different vantage points. Included on this overview page are a short questionnaire with experts from different fields, a curated reading list, and an essay that frames the 5KL initiative.
Economics & Investment
A focus on the core connection between our individual and collective channeling of resources and the carbon byproducts of economic exchange.
Engagement & Practice
An exploration of democratic citizenship and decision-making within, and outside of, the confines of professional practice.
Design & Technology
An inquiry into the relationship between the iterative process of design and technological advancement in our pursuit of prosperity.
Communication & Ethics
An emphasis on understanding our relationships with, and responsibilities to, other individuals, communities, nations, and generations.
Originally published: September 11, 2013; Updates ongoing
Documentation of a symposium on energy and architecture organized by The League and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
Each 5KL participant is asked the same four questions on how we think, talk, and act on architecture, climate change, and our economic future.
A curated reading list providing an overview and introduction to themes and debates central to The Five Thousand Pound Life.
In the third installment of interviews with this year’s Emerging Voices, accompanied by videos from the lecture series, Donald Chong, Betsy Williamson, & Shane Williamson of Williamson Chong Architects and Mauricio Rocha Iturbide & Gabriela Carrillo Valadez of TALLER |MauricioRocha+GabrielaCarrillo| discuss their work.
Susana Torre draws on a 1977 League exhibition and publication on women in the architectural profession to consider the influence that feminism has had on architecture and urban planning and to reflect on how the discourse has and has not changed.
Announcing the five teams selected to participate in a design study, held in partnership with the Center for an Urban Future, that seeks to articulate new architectural, financial, and programmatic possibilities for New York’s branch libraries.
On the occasion of the announcement of the 2014 recipient of the Norden Fund grant, Kerry O’Connor, we highlight two travel reports in our ongoing series featuring grantee’s projects through their essays, photographs, and sketches.