African American women make up 0.3% of the population of licensed architects in the U.S. These women feel particularly responsible for mentoring girls and younger colleagues and for creating pathways for inclusive representation of others like them in the profession. Simultaneously, Black women in architecture generally feel obligated to advocate for inclusive design in their communities and for a seat at the table during the planning and design process for schools, housing, community development and public spaces in cities, especially in Detroit with its African American population of over 80%.
Through their Noir Design Parti project, Saundra Little, AIA and Karen Burton are documenting the projects and career journeys Detroit’s Black architects and their influence on design, the building community, and future generations. For Design 139, they will convene a panel of the city’s Black women in architecture to discuss their career experiences, mentorship, and their vision for inclusive design.
Discussion Moderator: Rochelle Riley, author and Director of Arts & Culture for the city of Detroit
Photo credit: Facebook