CircularStudio CircularStudio

Practice Practice

Practice Practice
by Ashton Hamm

Publication Date: December 2023
Format: Softcover
120 pages
Publisher: ORO Editions
Size: 6″ × 9”
ISBN: 978-1951541958
Typeset in Maison Neue, Akzidenz Grotesk and Freight Text Pro
Book design by Pablo Mandel

The business of architecture—shaped by anti-trust legislation and pro-corporate governmental policies—has created an extractive, inequitable, and precarious environment for its practitioners. These pressures have led many small firms, which make up roughly three quarters of architecture offices in the United States, to adopt diverse, ad-hoc organizational and survival strategies. In their very precarity, these small firms offer fertile grounds to test more resilient structures. One such model, the worker cooperative, offers a critical mode of practice that is equitable, democratic, and addresses the systemic inequalities that plague the profession.

‘Practice Practice’ addresses the parallel trajectories of cooperatives in the United States and the professionalization of architecture. This contextual background highlights the coincident struggles of the labor movement and the emergence of the architectural corporation. Within this context, the cooperative model is presented as a challenge to the prevailing conditions of the profession. Logistical frameworks for creating an architectural cooperative are offered for any firm looking to transition or incorporate anew. The book projects the social, economic, and aesthetic benefits of the architectural cooperative by taking stock of cooperatives in other industries.