Tiziana Panizza Kassahun

Human Rights in a Library. A Story that Sets an Example

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The Martin Luther King Memorial Library has been designed by the legendary modernist Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In 2001 it lost a lawsuit brought by a homeless man, who had been excluded based on his «objectionable appearance». His exclusion from the public library was a violation of his human rights. Freedom of expression is not just limited to freedom of speech, but also includes the right to free access to information. The article reports on the ongoing architectural renovation of the library and reflects on the challenge of architecture to make information physically accessible for all, regardless of age, race, sex, religion, nationality, language or social status.


  • Human Rights
  • Architecture


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