1st Edition

Protest Architecture Structures of civil resistance

By Nick Newman Copyright 2024
    208 Pages
    by RIBA Publishing

    A complex bamboo pyramid to block a busy crossing in London. A maze of 'mini Stonehenge' brick structures to hinder government crackdowns in Hong Kong. The takeover of a Dallas highway to create a temporary public square.

    Architects have often used their skills in struggles for civil rights, gender equality and climate justice. Illuminating the role that design has played in protest movements, Nick Newman explores the colliding worlds of architecture and activism through the stories of those who have built for change.

    Using historic and contemporary examples, Protest Architecture analyses the design problems and solutions faced by protestors on the streets through detailed drawings, photography and expert insight.

    From beacons to barricades, towers to treehouses, this unique design typology demonstrates architectural influence over moments of societal change.

    This is a retelling of protest history through the eyes of an architect.

    About the Author



    Part 1: Defining Protest Architecture

    1.1 What is protest architecture?

    1.2 A story of architecture and protest

    1.3 Protest movements

    1.4 The boundaries of protest architecture

    1.5 Architectural precedents

    Part 2: Forms of Protest Architecture

    2.1 Reappropriation

    2.2 Occupation

    2.3 Alteration

    2.4 Barricades

    2.5 Tunnels

    2.6 Treehouses

    2.7 Tripods

    2.8 Towers

    2.9 Beacons

    2.10 Pavilions and Exhibitions

    2.11 Festivals

    2.12 Student Proposals

    2.13 New Forms of Practice

    Part 3: Protest Design

    3.1 Design Principles

    3.2 Protest v Planning

    3.3 Health and Safety and its Role in Protest

    3.4 The Economics of Protest Architecture

    3.5 Concepts and Messaging

    3.6 Logistics

    3.7 Professional and Legal Considerations


    Author Note

    Recommended Reading


    Image Credits


    Nick Newman is a Director of Studio Bark and U-Build. He is a Passivhaus Designer and has contributed to a number of journals and publications, including Everything Needs to Change (RIBA Publishing, 2021), Environmental Design Pocketbook (RIBA Publishing, 2015) and the Passivhaus Designer’s Manual (Routledge, 2015). He speaks regularly at events on behalf of the studio and was named a ‘Rising Sustainability Star’ by Building magazine in 2014.