Submissions open for our first issue, Ballot. Send your us your work through May - June 2024                    Catch our conversation on Green Urbanist Podcast here                        Submissions open for our first issue, Ballot. Send your us your work through May - June 2024                    Catch our conversation on Green Urbanist Podcast here                  

ABOUT                WORK  

Our Story

DA was formed in July 2020, in the wake of the global Black Lives Matter movement. Since then, we have worked with institutions and individuals to ensure tangible change within the industry.

What started as an open letter signed by over 200 people to the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath eventually turned into a group focused on collaborating for change.

In 2022, we registered as a Non Profit Organisation and are continuing to imagine and propose new methods of dialogue, delivery and democratising access to the built environment.  

What does decolonising
mean to us?

DA interprets decolonising as the examination of power within our built world and providing a voice to those who may have been sidelined.

We believe that power can manifest itself in multiple ways from income to gender and from race to geography. Decolonising is not limited to one form and we seek to uncover the causes and consequences behind the imbalances that exist in our world today.  


DA has constantly relied on the voices of individuals and institutions from around the world. By working with people with different experiences and backgrounds, we are able to create a richer palette of opinions to draw from and inform our approach. 


In order to achieve equitable solutions, we recognise that un-learning will play as much a part as learning. By looking at the past through a critical lens, we are able to identify where certain methods create biases in the opportunities that they create. Being comfortable with un-learning such methods forms the basis of our work. 


DA’s approach relies on the fact that different experiences will result in different opinions. We believe in a form of discourse that prioritises listening and understanding the root of issues before taking action and that in many cases, compromise is necessary for progress. 


Since founding, we have pushed DA to be a solution-based group. We prioritise creating tangible resources, platforms and other outcomes that can be used to address biases head on.

So many of us are aware of the things that need changing, so why wait for someone else to act?


We bring more


to the table

Since founding, DA has worked with multiple universities and architecture regulatory bodies to deliver lectures, host workshops and advise on curriculum change. As opposed to raising awareness, DA operates by engaging students and faculty at a grassroots level and self publishing teaching resources which are then disseminated amongst our contacts and wider public on a free to access basis. 

By drawing from each university’s individual qualities, we create a transferable methodology that can simultaneously provide insights from our cross-institutional research while addressing the particular needs of each partner institution. Our work with other educational collaborators have instigated transformations at scales,  ranging from reshaping architectural tutorials to be more inclusive, to informing policy approaches from the Architects Registration Board. 

Anti-Racist Forum
roundtable workshop with University of Bath

The Inclusive Review
educational toolkit





that matter

Despite it affecting the entire population, knowledge about our built world tends to be reserved for industry professionals, with the voices of the global majority often silent. DA seeks to advocate for key social issues by elevating the stories that truly matter, in an accessible format for all.  

Notre-Dame and Al-Aqsa: why was the response so different?
RIBA Journal article

Time to Decolonise
Architect’s Journal feature


Mohit Buch

Mohit is a Part II Architectural Assistant practicing in Cambridge, UK. He has previously advised on the University of Bath’s Race Equality Task Force as well as at the ARB symposium on curriculum change. 

Flora Ng

Flora is an M.Arch student at Columbia GSAAP in New York. Her work at DA primarily centres around our digital presense and publishing efforts. 
Flora also writes for the World Architecture Community, as its country reporter for China.

Jasmine Lawrence

Jasmine is Part II Architectural Assistant at Grimshaw Architects in Melbourne, Australia. She leads the collaboration effort between DA and external organisations, and has previously worked on the Widening Participation workshops and lecture series.

Val Flânon

Val is a scenographic design designer, M.Arch student, and teaching assistant at Columbia GSAPP in New York. Previously an associate of Mu Sigma, Inc., and a member of SWA Group’s internal research arm CASI, Val brings a fresh lens from beyond architecture to the research and advocacy work at DA.

Ifrah Ariff

Ifrah is a Part II Architectural Assistant practicing in London, UK. She was a part of TU Delft’s faculty BK Public Programs team, and has written to several publications. At DA, she currently contributes within our internal publication and writing efforts.
Sueyen Chong

Sueyen is a freelance graphic designer and Part II Architectural Assistant practicing in London, UK. Sueyen is fascinated by the the intersectionality between climate and the built world, with keen attention to detail and design. 

Warren D’Souza

Warren is a Part II Architectural Assistant in London, UK and a freelance videographer. He was awarded the 2023 3DReid student prize for architecture and nominated for the RIBA Silver Medal. He has also contributed to various digital media projects, acting as director and photographer. Warren writes about films, and edits, and produces videos for DA.

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