Care and Generosity in Architectural Design

Do architects care? Caring can be understood as an emotion at odds with the requirements of professional architects. Compassion and empathy motivate other kinds of giving, and desire to give. These ethical concepts place one’s relation to the other at the heart of moral behaviour. Through Joan C. Tronto’s care ethics, this paper examines two architecture projects for marginalized groups in Israel/Palestine: The Levinsky Garden Library project, built for asylum seekers and migrant workers in Tel-Aviv, and the Wadi Abu Hindi school, renovated for Bedouin communities East of Jerusalem in the West Bank. Both projects manifest care, not only in the consideration of the design process but also in the architectural design addressing the perspectives, needs and abilities of their users. Following Kant’s distinction between free beauty and dependent beauty,  I distinguish between specific design for marginalized users and the abstract expression of generosity in architectural aesthetics.