NOW YOU KNOW is a publication that brings together a collection of 50 reflections from architects and urbanists of colour addressing spatial inequality and discrimination in the built environment industry. From MBEs to architecture students, artists to urban policymakers, each contributor accompanies their poem, essay or interview with a concise tip and a tune - the Sound Advice DNA. Trust us, this publication will change the way you practice.
THE STORY BEHIND NOW YOU KNOW
2020 has been really stressful. We have been living in an altered reality, stuck at home with hugs being banned and fun being cancelled. But 2020 has been even more difficult for many people of colour. Covid-19 has impacted them disproportionately, with ‘BAME’ people dying more than white people. In May, the death of George Floyd sparked (another) awakening across the world, where people of colour had to take to the streets (again), just to ask the system not to kill them.
So what does this have to do with architecture and city-making? We would say a lot.
Higher death rates from Covid in the 'BAME' community are not driven by health issues, but by life circumstances. Overcrowding in housing, lack of public space and bad air-quality are all key contributing factors, all of which are embedded in spatial inequality. Racism is an everyday lived experience for built environment industry practitioners (in architecture, engineering, planning, design curation etc) who just want to make the quality of life normal people lead, better. The industry sadly does not represent the people it serves.
So in June 2020, when #BlackoutTuesday became a social media trend, Sound Advice didn't celebrate the solidarity white counterparts in the design world were showing them as it was not the symbol of effective allyship that people thought it was. Sound Advice got angry, hurt and frustrated and realised that they weren't the only ones. Thus they decided to take action and reached out to their fam, friends and colleagues of colour who were experiencing similar pain and asked them what sound advice they would give to make a change. Over the next few months, they received an overwhelming response of people sharing tears, pain and jokes through poems, interviews and essays.
NOW YOU KNOW the publication, brings together these 50 reflections ordered in time, each one accompanied by a concise tip and top tune // SOUND ADVICE STYLE. Read this, and you will know what you need to know to make the world a more equitable place.
"It's all good
And if you don't know
Now you know"
The Notorious BIG - Juicy