The civil rights, women’s, and LGBTQ movements impacted every facet of US society, including architecture and design. Now What?! Advocacy, Activism & Alliances in American Architecture Since 1968 is a traveling exhibition that links the design community to larger social and political movements of the late 20th century, placing design practice in the foreground and engaging viewers in critical conversations around history, progress, and the built environment. Now What?! acknowledges national and grassroots efforts by a wide coalition of organizations and professionals to change the face of architecture and design in the U.S..
In recent years, there has been a wave of initiatives and advocacy that draw attention to these critical issues. This exhibition writes the overlooked histories of activist architects and organizations who were—and still are—at the forefront of the profession’s participation in larger social and political movements over the last 50 years. This intersectional and interdisciplinary look at the design professions draws historical connections and serves as the only comprehensive narrative of activism in US architecture and design that spans these generations and disparate causes. Now What?! offers an in-depth look at diversity and activism in the design professions since 1968 while crafting a space for public debate and dialogue that looks back as much as it projects forward.
After traveling to 11 cities in three countries since 2018, Boston will be the final stop for the exhibition, which has been especially designed and expanded to include local history and voices. This section of the exhibition is called Boston Changemakers and it will be updated periodically to feature a diverse array of people, projects, and organizations who use architecture and design as a means to address racism and injustice in our city. We encourage you to nominate a person, project, or organization to be featured on the Boston Changemakers wall.