As conversations surrounding diversity and inclusion have increased, the architecture community has been called upon to reflect on its own challenges in terms of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. However, reflection quickly raises questions surrounding accountability and where to place institutional blame.
Academia is often noted as the root of diversity and inclusion issues for its lack of representation. The profession is blamed for perpetuating inequitable practices as well as racial and gender gaps. Yet both academia and the profession are dependent on each other to thrive and survive. Their symbiotic relationship has the potential to benefit the pipeline—from early childhood through to leadership roles.
This two-part roundtable will serve as a space where individuals at different stages of their architectural studies and careers can reflect on the root causes of diversity and inclusion issues in architecture. Through dialogues between students, academics, and emerging and experienced professionals, we can generate discussion on the ways that each stage contributes to flaws in the industry, as well as how we can proactively combat them together.
How can we engage and encourage the pipeline in architecture for underrepresented groups, specifically the BIPOC community? How does academia play a role? How does the profession perpetuate it? By reflecting on this symbiotic relationship, we hope we can begin to reveal several ways to stimulate the pipeline.
Day 1 – Focus on Education (June 24, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
Education is our first form of exposure to architecture—it defines what we learn, who we learn about, and who we learn it from. Architectural pedagogy is carried with us into the profession, ultimately helping to shape it. As a result, diversity and inclusion issues present within academia can become detrimental to not only our view of architecture but also how we practice it in the future. What changes can those in academia make that will have an effect on the future of architecture practice? How can we stimulate the pipeline and fight for inclusiveness within architectural pedagogy?
Day 2 – Focus on Practice (June 29, 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM)
New graduates enter an architecture field that often mimics the non-inclusive educational world they have just exited. While support from initiatives such as AIA’s Equitable Guides of Practice and bias training can help combat inequitable practice, proactive actions must follow and be sustained. Architectural practice serves as the primary example of what should be included in architectural pedagogy. What changes in the profession can be implemented to create a sustainable equitable environment within the industry, and thus academia?
Day 1 Speakers:
Venesa Alicea, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Founding Principal, NYVARCH Architecture; New York representative, AIA Small Firm Exchange
Ruth Ro, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Principal, Dattner Architects
Shereese Trumpet, NOMA, Architectural Designer, Studio397 Architecture
Sidpasamde Tiendrebeogo, BArch Student, New York Tech
Himesh Patel, AIA, NOMA, LEED GA, NOMAS Fellow
About the Speakers:
Venesa Alicea-Chuqui AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP is Founding Principal of NYVARCH Architecture and New York representative to the AIA Small Firm Exchange. Committed to design justice, she’s an active contributor to Dark Matter University and Design as Protest, and also serves as President of the CCNY Architecture Alumni Group.
Himesh Patel is currently in a NOMAS fellowship with RS&H before he starts his masters at Columbia University in the Fall. He hopes to be a leader in the fight against climate change and advocate for those who can’t.
Ruth Ro, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C is an Associate Principal at Dattner Architects and an advocate for equity and inclusion in the workplace. She serves on the AIANY D&I Committee and the Build Out Alliance board of directors and has spearheaded a number of EDI initiatives at Dattner with a focus on K-12 outreach.
Shereese Trumpet graduated from The City College Spritzer School of Architecture in 2017 and has recently joined the team at Studio397 Architecture. As past Co-chair of NycobaNOMA Project Pipeline, Shereese led teams of volunteers to fundraise & write workshops introducing architecture to students ranging in grade level.
Sidpasamde Tiendrebeogo is a 4th-year architecture major at New York Tech. She is passionate about creating safe and brave spaces.