Architecture industry organisations and practices across Europe are extending their support to Ukrainian architects and designers who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries following the Russian invasion of their country.
Several initiatives have been launched by local architectural organisations in various European countries to find temporary job placements for displaced Ukrainian refugees in architectural and design firms.
The Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE) has established a special task force named ‘European architects – to Ukraine’, dedicated to finding “the most efficient ways to help Ukraine, the Ukrainian architects, people and architecture today, and tomorrow, when it’s time to rebuild the country”.
In a statement released on 25 February 2022, ACE president Ruth Schagemann said, “On behalf of the Architects' Council of Europe and the entire architectural European community, we would like to express to you our support for all Ukrainian architects in the face of the political situation in which Ukraine and its citizens find themselves.”
ACE is sharing initiatives and actions across Europe to support Ukrainian refugees, such as databases of job offers for Ukrainian architects and designers or various forms of aid for Ukrainian refugees provided by local architectural organisations. In several countries such as Denmark, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, architects are providing work opportunities for their Ukrainian colleagues.
Architectural firms in Denmark are offering work, internships and even office space for Ukrainian architects, designers and others working in the creative industries via the National Institute for Architecture and Urban Planning's (NIAiU) database in Poland. Changes in laws are also being considered to enable Ukrainian architects to seek employment in Denmark.
Ordre des Architects, the national council of architects in France, is encouraging members to welcome Ukrainian professionals affected by the war into their practices by posting job applications on the council’s website.
Additionally, a group led by AFEX, Architectes Français à l'Export and the AMO Association has developed a platform to put displaced Ukrainian professionals in touch with French companies who have job offers.
In the UK, RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) has created a crisis response hub to share the latest guidance for Ukrainian architects and students, advice for UK practices wanting to provide assistance, and updates on actions being taken. The RIBA Jobs platform will be used to match refugees with employment opportunities in the UK, requiring practices hiring displaced architects to also offer free accommodation for a 6-month period.
RIBA president Simon Allford said, "Our thoughts are with all those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has exposed the horrific effects of conflict on communities, and put the role that architecture plays in building resilient, collaborative and inclusive societies into sharp relief.”
Similarly, the RIAI in Ireland has published a list of practices that have offered to provide job placements for architects, architectural technologists and architectural graduates displaced by the conflict and are located in Ireland.
Architectural firms in Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain and Sweden among others are driving their employment campaigns for Ukrainian refugees online on social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.