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What to Know About the Democracy in Design Act

In February of this year, the Trump administration purportedly drafted an executive orderag棋牌地址 that would codify neoclassical architecture as the officially mandated style for federal buildings. Now, a bill recently introduced in the House of Representatives is seeking to enshrine America’s lack of an official style into law, according to .

Last week, Nevada congresswoman and Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure member Dina Titus introduced the Democracy in Design Act—otherwise known as . If enacted, it would supersede the proposal informally known as “Make Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” and prevent the government from mandating any specific architectural style.

H.R.7604 would effectively elevate the ’s existing architectural guidelines from precedent into official law. First written by future senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1962, the GSA’s explicitly rejects “the development of an official [architectural] style.” The document emphasizes “designs that embody the finest contemporary American architectural thought,” while allowing for regional differences based on local aesthetic traditions and cultural heritage.

In a statement shared with the American Institute of Architects, Titus said, “Our public buildings should reflect the rich diversity of our nation and its people. They should signify our progress over the years and be as accessible as possible.”

ag棋牌地址Back in February, organizations including the AIA against the drafted executive order in strong terms, with its members sending . It’s therefore no huge surprise that the organization is already enthusiastically championing Titus’s bill.

ag棋牌地址“Mandating any single design style will undermine the value of the very architectural style it seeks to promote,” AIA 2020 president Jane Frederick said in a . “Buildings—both functionally and aesthetically—must be designed to serve their populations. It’s critical that communities have the ability to decide for themselves what architectural design best fits their needs.”

There are still many steps in the legislative process before the Democracy in Design Act becomes a law. The bill was referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management on July 14, where it will be discussed, marked up, and voted on. Even if the bill does make it out of committee and pass in the House, it may run into challenges when it moves to the Senate. Still, the Democracy in Design Act signifies an important step forward for the architects who feel strongly about the cause.