From David Adjaye’s design for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, to Norma Merrick Sklarek and Beverly Loraine Greene’s pioneering efforts for women in architecture, Black architects from around the world have made lasting contributions to the profession and beyond. As we honor Black History Month this year, we’re taking time to celebrate new voices in architecture. These accounts in particular highlight Black architecture creatives, leaders, and educators making strides to create a built environment that’s more equitable and accessible for all.
As an architect and urban planner, Dana embodies the true nature of advocacy by fighting for social justice and equity through her design. Her innovative solutions provide communities—including those from the most vulnerable populations—with opportunities by integrating wellness, policy, and economics. While attending the Harvard Graduate School of Design, she helped establish the inaugural Black in Design Conference, Map the Gap, and the African American Design Nexus.
With over 15 years of professional practice under their belt, Cory Henry has developed a reputation as a “contextually sensitive designer, with a strong commitment to addressing contemporary urban conditions through a combination of poetic design solutions and socially conscious ideals,” according to his studio’s site. Now, he leads their interdisciplinary design studio Atelier Cory Henry, while teaching at schools like the University of Southern California, University of Pennsylvania, and Pennsylvania State University. Cory has also worked on several award-winning designs across three continents.
Helmed as a “pioneer for diversity and inclusion in the profession” by Madame Architect, Tiffany is dedicated to further exploring how design and planning make significant social impacts in urban communities, as well as the influence of the built environment and its effects on culture, behavior, and health. Tiffany is the co-founder of Urban Arts Collective and in 2017, established 400 FORWARD—a nonprofit initiative that seeks to support the next generation of women architects (especially those who are Black or African American) through several exposure, mentorship, and financial assistance opportunities. Even more exciting—Tiffany assumed her role as executive director for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) in January of this year.
Look for us tonight at 5pm on @FOX2News! | The 400 Forward students are working in collaboration with Detroit Land Bank's "Rehabbed and Ready"— Tiffany D. Brown (@TiffanyB_313) August 16, 2019
team on revitalizing affordable residences in the Fitzgerald neighborhood. @knightfdn #detroitlandbank pic.twitter.com/ZTi09AEdIG
As a future designer on the rise, Germane aims to decipher the connection between architecture and identity while exploring the profession’s agency through historical research and design speculation. As he works to examine the architecture profession’s social and cultural resiliency, he also teaches at the University of Miami as an assistant professor and director of the Community Housing & Identity Lab (CHIL). He serves as an integral part of the Opa Locka Community Development Corporation, where his design and research efforts have been continually featured by publications and institutions.
As founder and principal of atelier masōmī, headquartered in Niamey, Niger, Mariam works with her team to tackle a diverse set of public, cultural, residential, commercial, and urban design projects. Simply put, “her work is guided by the belief that architects have an important role to play in thinking spaces that have the power to elevate, dignify, and provide a better quality of life,” according to the firm’s site. Centered as her framework for practice is her passion to innovate, while maintaining a close dialogue between architecture, people, and context.
Quardean is the founder and CEO of Youth Design Center—a nonprofit youth creative agency that provides young people with opportunities to learn marketable hard skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEAM) professions. The innovation hub also gives access to post-secondary education, engages youth with community revitalization projects, and more. Having over a decade of interdisciplinary design experience, his work has led him to the intersection of tactical urbanism and social activism through community-led design. Some of his accolades include being included in Forbes Under 30, Crain’s Under 40, and an Emerging Leaders Fund recipient of the Claneil Foundation.
Delivered lighting design kits to our apprentices. We're so grateful to the SEED Lighting for training our youth, sourcing these learning materials, and facilitating contributions from @moxielighting @LuminiiLED and Barbican. It really does take a village. ❤ Thank you. pic.twitter.com/QjTBYRav8i— Youth Design Center (@youthdesigncntr) November 3, 2020
Know any up-and-coming Black voices in architecture you think are worth following? Want to share your own personal success story? Make sure to comment below as we continue celebrating Black History Month for the remainder of February.