Anthropology and Architecture: Motives and Ethics in Creating Knowledge
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Original versionCollaborations Anthropology in a Neoliberal Age
Traditionally, anthropology has sought to ensure social progress by means of knowledge, which implies that the creation of knowledge and social reform were seen as harmonious tasks. Architects share anthropologists’ interest in understanding people, their needs and aspirations, as well as the role architecture may play in order to reach goals such as social inclusion, dignity and mental health. Images and built forms have become increasingly difficult to separate from the anthropological analysis as visual representations and new technologies have become central in theory building. In a similar vein, some anthropologists call for moral commitment by empathizing and defending the rights of the oppressed, whereas others term such a call as ‘moral anxiety’. Common for all these approaches is a belief that the fundamentals for knowledge creation match the fundamentals of ethics, and that the epistemology for social studies is similar and accommodates the moral values that guide social reform for the benefit and well-being of populations.