I'm not sure, but if it's like the rest of the profession I'm guessing it involves a pair of Dockers khakis.
Seriously, though: AIA/Portland and Portland State University’s Department of Architecture will be hosting the "Learning Activism" Symposium on April 9 at PSU's Shattuck Hall Annex, and it's worth attending. The symposium that looks at the growing role of the citizen architect. This movement "redefines the traditional practice of architecture to include tangible service to the public good," says the press release. The symposium offers the opportunity to meet and learn from architects taking part in community and political leadership as well as a group design charrette to address one of the real needs in Portland’s schools.
The cost is $50.00 for AIA members and $60.00 for non-members, but Architects Without Borders Oregon will be providing scholarships to those in need. Deadline for applying for those scholarships is Tuesday, March 23. 100 free tickets will also be available for UO and PSU students.
The group charrette, scheduled for April 10, seeks to design a higher-quality modular temporary classroom (instead of those awful trailers) that is "truly modular, scalable, sustainable, beautiful, and affordable" while also providing a better learning environment."
The regular forums include "Activism within the Profession" by Dave Otte of Holst Architecture (who was active in co-designing the AIA's new Center for Architecture); a look at public architecture with architect John Peterson; "Learning Activism through Education" with University of Arkansas professor Michael Hughes and Danny Wicke of the Rural Studio (the late, great architect Samuel Mockbee's effort to build homes for Alabama's poor), and "In the Trenches with Communities in Need" with John Blumthal of YGH Architecture and Architects Without Borders.
The profession has long desired - and needed - a bigger voice in how we build cities and how we design systems of all sorts. And in a vacuum where that voice for architects isn't provided, those with different values and agendas prevail.