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Architectural Democracy

What is Architectural Democracy



A working group of researchers and professionals that explore the relationship between architecture and democracy to make cities more understandable to all stakeholders.

We either sleepwalk our way to automated democracy and isolation or we develop tools for us to plan cities and communities for the kind of people we want to become.

Architectural Democracy started as an academic research in Finland 10 years ago. The term was coined by Pedro Aibéo, proposing a framework of the relationships between architecture and democracy for all stakeholders to better understand the complexity of cities and thus to participate more actively in the planning decisions that affect their lives. 

Based on growing interest, active affiliations globally, and a track record of collaborations, Architectural Democracy is now considered a nascent movement, an informal academic discipline, encompassing service architecture and has its own developments. Aibéo & team provide leadership, but by no means is there a centralised doctrine.

Sensible Sustainability

We can have densification without compromise, via deep engagement

Our métier is early stage gamified parametric design

Our values are to enlighten the mass and maximize the collective brain

Lecture on Architectural Democracy by Pedro Aibéo UNAM Mexico 2016_photo by UNAM.JPG 2.JPG

Non-ideological approach

Architectural Democracy is not ideological. Informed participation is more effective if ideological constraints are avoided and a better balance of decision-making is pursued. This will reflect needs as well as aspirations, and will result in higher wellbeing, economic efficiency, sustainability, etc.

The challenge

Just as people and institutions in a controlled society don’t know how a democracy works and responds to citizen input, both residents and city planners have imperfect models of participation. We simply do not know how to interact. Architectural Democracy has experience in research, gamification and other forms of engagement.

The core: bigger ideas and collaborations

Aibéo and partners, constitute a design collective to create ideas for larger collaborations, provide storytelling, stakeholder engagement and advocacy expertise. Architectural Democracy has secured academic, foundation sponsorships, and prestigious invitations. Although we are asked to provide services, the ArcDem team has not settled on a business model. Our current focus is building ArcDem’s convening power to create new and more significant collaborations.

Projects portfolio

The PodCast
A monthly podcast recorded at the Helsinki Open Waves, Caisa Cultural House


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Public Architecture Future For Europe

Published in Russia in 2019

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Social Design for Sustainable Cities

Published in Poland in 2021

ECC venice publication ArcDem 2021

Time Space Existence

Publication in Italy in 2021


Towards a more beautiful city

Publication in Finland in 2022

Exhibitions & Debates



Pedro Aibéo

Aibéo is an internationally awarded Architect (MSc) and Civil Engineer (MSc) with over 50 buildings built in 18 countries. He is also a Vis. Ass. Prof. at UNAM University, Mexico and at Wuhan University of Technology, China. He is the founder of Architectural Democracy.

Mark Linder

Mark Linder

Mark's work in public advocacy has led him into sectors where planning policy has been controversial. He has created large scale engagement programs for clients in the US, UK and Venezuela and in Finland. Mark is co-founder of N2 Comms in Helsinki and a Partner in Architectural Democracy.

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Hugo Pires

Hugo has published extensively, for example at the National Geographic, most noticeable around his "Morphological Residual Model". He is doing ground-breaking work around photogrammetry.