The Architect’s Newspaper Op-Ed Written by Roy Decker
Roy Decker was asked by Architect’s Newspaper to write an Op-ed on Jackson, Mississippi’s water crisis. In the piece, Roy tries to see the light beyond the water system failure.
Architecture is public work. The practice of architecture is more than service. Architects are trained servant leaders, which for us has come to mean, teachers. A teacher reveals the public good when others cannot see it. A teacher explains the value of durability when the prevailing interest is in superficiality. Architecture projects are local, have a site, and are in a specific place and community. As architects we sometimes don’t realize the public consequences that every building or landscape carries. With each new or renovated building, each newly developed site, park, street, school, library, home, or business, a community is changed. The changes bring with them consequences in the lives of those who encounter them from homeowner to citizens in public space. With every project, we ask ourselves what is the public value of each intervention? How can the constructed environment be critical, educational, and perhaps therapeutic for a place and its people? Building projects are teachers. They express who we are, what we believe, even present our hopes.
Shunning tribalism and embracing community will help cities like Jackson emerge from the crises that have come to define them