ThePeaceArchitect has been born out of the desire to explore notions of peace and how we can relate these notions to our lives in its varied and dynamic dimensions. The dimensions are varied and dynamic because they play out in several institutions formed in the construction of human communities and social life, including family, business, politics, economics and religion. Given these dimensions, it is pertinent to understand how peace can be embedded into their construction, development and implementation. For example, given the human relational dimensions within the institution of family we need to consider the role of mother, father and children within the nuclear family and further, the role and place of the extended family. These roles shift depending on the personal construction and development of the family, often contingent upon personal history, cultural paradigms present in community and social life and other internal and external factors, including government policies. These systems in the family and further, the political, economic and religious, need to be considered because some family constructs, like constructs in these other spheres, may be personally inhibitive to its members development and potentially violent.
It is an ambitious task, but this is the task of the peace architect. To look at and analyse these dimensions in the family, community, political, economic and religious spheres of our human existence to understand their nature and dynamics, where conflict and violence may be present and how it can be ameliorated, transformed and improved. This endeavour, to be successful in life, takes flexibility, creativity and humility from us all. If we hold to the systems that have already defined the institutional life of our human families, communities and societies, we may never be able to construct an alternative path that could help to prevent those things that have continued to be a blight on our human existence, whether this be discrimination, dehumanisation, large scale poverty and inequality and undemocratic familial and social systems. The continued presence of these issues will possess the seeds that fertilise our institutions with all the potential for violence and conflict (these will be further defined in future blogs).
As such, I am an architect who is not building exquisite physical architectural structures, though I wish I had such a skill. Rather, I have adopted the term to refer to the art and science of designing and developing structures that will help to build peace within us and within the institutions that shape and give form to our communal human existence. I do not pretend to be the only person writing about these issues, and in fact, I will be engaging with a range of people, organisations and academics that have explored these issues and defined the very frameworks with which I will engage. I also do not pretend to know all the answers and nor am I an expert in several of the fields I will cover. I do hope that people with expertise in all areas will feel welcome in correcting, adding to and enhancing the content of this blog. After all, it is a principle of peace to create spaces where all voices can positively contribute and be heard. In fact it is the only way we will be able to build and develop a durable peace in our families, communities, nations and world. It is to this task I set myself in this blog space. I hope you will join me!