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. Also included below are an essay introducing the 5KL initiative, a curated reading list, documentation from ongoing events, and more.
Originally published: September 11, 2013; updates ongoing.
Documentation of a symposium on addressing issues of water supply in the context of climate change, considered through case studies of Los Angeles, New York City, and the Great Lakes.
Documentation of a symposium on rethinking land and its value in light of climate change, organized by the League in conjunction with The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design.
Documentation of a symposium on energy and architecture organized by the League and the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
On the core connection between our individual and collective channeling of resources and the carbon byproducts of economic exchange. With Tim Jackson, Herman Daly, Erik Assadourian…
An exploration of democratic citizenship and decision-making within, and outside of, the confines of professional practice. With content by Dayna Cunningham, Indy Johar, and Rory Hyde.
An inquiry into the relationship between the iterative process of design and technological advancement in our pursuit of prosperity. With content by Bruno Latour and Rachel Armstrong.
Understanding our relationships with, and responsibilities to, other individuals, communities, nations, and generations. With content by Anthony Leiserowitz, Melissa Lane, and Stephen Gardiner.
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.
Sticks by Hou de Sousa was the winner of Folly 2016. Read an essay on this functional structure by Pasqualina Azzarello, Socrates Director of Public Programs; a roundtable discussion featuring the designers among other participants; and a look at this year’s other notable competition entries.
Announcing the winners of the Architectural League Prize 2016: (im)permanence
A collection of the winning essays from the fourth annual Urban Omnibus writing competition, As Seen On [ ].
Torqueing Spheres by IK Studio was the winner of Folly 2015. Explore an interview with Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim, a photo essay on the fabrication, and other notable entries from this year’s competition.