Paul Priest (RCA) - 2019-20 Students

The Architecture of Global Compliance; Mapping Lawscapes to Protect the Rights of the Individual

This research addresses the dual pressures of upholding the integrity of the professional standards of Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) chartered practice and advancing social responsibility in construction. It explores the impact of regulatory change on the architect’s duty of care by defining the standards of conduct required for compliance across a global lawscape. Despite a prevalence of international regulation, the endemic nature of modern slavery suggests these initiatives remain ineffective in practice. This ecosystem ranges from hard to soft, global and local, human rights, labour rights, social and economic governance. Further, the architect must practice within and against frameworks of deliberate deregulation, jurisdictional complexity and permissive governments. Despite demands for reform, the profession is deficient in resilient practical solutions to navigate the complex and often vague obligations of social policy. Forensic analysis will, therefore, disentangle regulatory ecosystems across jurisdictions and countries through mapping to spatialise legal territory and reveal policy and process. In making visible the complexity of a seemingly straightforward requirement, it will define an obscure and evolving lawscape to inform procedures necessary for ethical decision-making and thus empower architects in protecting the rights of the individual.

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