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
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.
A three part feature considering the past, present, and uncertain future of the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, an important but vulnerable public asset.
A feature exploring the winning proposal, SuralArk, by Jason Timberlake Austin and Aleksandr Mergold, and some notable entries and themes of the 2014 competition.
Nordenson and Phifer reflect on several of the projects they have completed together and their conceptual approach to collaborative practice as the continuous development of a shared sensibility.
Party photos from our recent benefit event to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Urban Omnibus, and a series of reflections on themes that have emerged on the site since its launch.