Peggy Deamer and Aleksandr Mergold: Lobbying in the Living Room

Woman superimposed in a living room setting

Lobbying in the Living Room. photo / provided

The Living Room Event Series

The Living Room is a student organization whose goal is to create a forum for critical discussion and debate about architecture today. Please join us for the second installment, "Lobbying in the Living Room," with Peggy Deamer and Aleksandr Mergold to discuss the place of political activism on an institutional level. What does it mean to be a "registered architect" today? Why should we or should we not consider ourselves "professionals"? What values do definitions like these espouse in the world?

In the 23rd issue of The Avery Review, three members of The Architecture Lobby, a group advocating for the value of architectural design and labor, responded to the American Institute of Architect's (AIA) release of two public statements: "Where Architects Stand: A Statement of Our Values," and "Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion." These statements appeared in the wake of, what The Architecture Lobby describes as, "the embarrassing statement sent out by Robert Ivy for the AIA on November 9, 2016, in support of Trump and the president’s infrastructure policies." In their analysis of these official statements, The Architecture Lobby sought to expose a series of tensions within the AIA as an organization that claims to serve all architects. They ask a simple but potent question: Which architects does the AIA mean by this, and what kind of work do they do?

Peggy Deamer is a professor at Yale University and a principal of Deamer Architects. She does not describe herself as a registered architect. Deamer is also a founding member of The Architecture Lobby. Her professional, critical, and academic work has been published widely. She studied architecture at The Cooper Union and Princeton University, and her current research explores the relationship between subjectivity, design, and labor in the current economy.

Assistant Professor Aleksandr Mergold describes himself as a registered architect in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He is also Cornell's faculty sponsor for the American Institute of Architecture Students. After a prolific tenure as senior architect with Pentagram, Mergold cofounded Austin+Mergold LLC whose work has been published in a variety of media. Educated at Cornell and Princeton, Mergold has taught in New York City, Reykjavik, and Ithaca.

Join us after the event to meet the presenters.

For more information, email thelivingroomaap@cornell.edu, or visit The Living Room on Instagram at @thelivingroomaap.