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Architecture is Political
74 minutes | Sep 28, 2021
Unearthing the Black Aesthetics with OffTop Design's Demar Matthews
“What if Black neighborhoods were defined by the beauty of the architecture that represents Black culture?” This question is on the ‘About’ page of the OffTop Design website. In this episode, we explore answers to this question with Demar Matthews, a Los Angeles based architectural designer, founder/Principal of OffTop Design, as well as the benefits and challenges of running a design firm. Born in Moreno Valley, California, Demar received his Bachelor’s from HBCU Lincoln University of Pennsylvania, and completed his Master of Architecture at Woodbury University where he was awarded the Graduate Thesis Prize for his project Black Architecture: Unearth-ing the Black Aesthetic. His introduction to the field was through his article ‘A Black Architecture Education Experience’. Demar believes architecture and good design should not only be for the privileged. Every community deserves to be proud of the built environment around them, and the built environment around them should be based on the cultures of the people who live there; regardless of income, race, and gender.
66 minutes | Aug 18, 2021
Architects, Displacement and Housing
Earlier this year, Architecture is Political Podcast had the opportunity to present at Pyatok's Skull Session, a weekly meet-up where various guests come to discuss topics related to architectural practices, emerging innovations, and everything in between. Pyatok is an architecture and urban design firm in Oakland, California. Topics discussed in this episode include displacement, housing and gentrification. https://www.facebook.com/PyatokArch
65 minutes | Jul 25, 2021
NOMAS at SPITZER SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
Gabriela Gonjon and Nicole Bass are undergraduate B. Arch students and NOMAS (National Organization of Minority Architecture Students) chapter members at City College of New York. Together, they are host/producer of Talks at NOMAS CCNY, a podcast about architecture school, professionalism and entrepreneurship.
55 minutes | Jun 19, 2021
CONVERSATION W/ ANNA BARBOUR, AIA
Anna earned her Bachelor of Science in Architectural Studies from The Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University and a Masters in Architecture from The Virginia Polytechnical Institute. She is Senior Project Manager at Beyer Blinder Belle in Washington, DC. She has worked on complex projects, focused on design, documentation, and construction for multi-family residential, commercial, and public space projects in the metropolitan DC area. She is an active member of the AIA Northern Virginia, serving on the Board of Directors in 2008, a past chair of the Young Architects Forum from 2008-2015 and organizer of the ARE Prep series since 2007. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Women in Architecture Committee. She is a scholar from the 2011 Virginia Emerging Leaders in Architecture class and the 2016 Christopher Kelly Leadership Development Program.
58 minutes | Jun 6, 2021
CONVERSATION W/ MARKETING MANAGER & DESIGNER
Christina Schaller is a passionate and ambitious project designer currently pursuing licensure in the state of Massachusetts. At her role at Flansburgh Architects, her work focuses on designing K-12 schools that encourage a desire for learning as well as address the needs of the greater community. She holds a B.S in Architecture and Environmental Design from Morgan State University and a M.Arch from the Rhode Island School of Design. Christina also teaches an introduction to architecture course during the summers at RISD as apart of their Pre-College/Advanced Program for High School Students Program and is actively involved in the architectural community in Boston, serving as a co-chair of the Emerging Professionals Network (EPNet) at the Boston Society for Architecture (BSA). Rosalie Shen is a visual storyteller. She has a passion for creative marketing and media, telling stories through imagery & design. Her interests lie at the intersection of art, commerce, and culture. Rosalie currently works as a Marketing Manager for Flansburgh Architects, headquartered in Boston. She is also the founder of an apparel e-commerce website, WhiteElephantCollective.org, dedicated to elephant conservation. You can find her at rosalieshen.com. For job opportunities: http://www.flansburgh.com/people/careers/
70 minutes | May 25, 2021
Reclaim Indiana Avenue
Through her work as a speaker, organizer, and activist, Paula Brooks has devoted herself to educating residents, community and elected leaders, civil servants, and others on environmental justice issues in Indiana. She has led successful campaigns to stop projects that would expose marginalized communities to additional pollution. Her efforts have helped raise awareness of the disproportionate environmental health burdens shouldered by low-income communities and communities of color in Indianapolis and contributed to the inclusion of environmental equity as a key planning criterion of Indianapolis’ first resilience plan. Additionally, Brooks has worked to encourage sustainable design of new infrastructure and advocated for the preservation of urban trees. She is committed to mentoring students interested in careers in environmental justice. Brooks, an Environmental Leadership Program Senior (ELP) Fellow also serves as a co-facilitator of the National Black Environmental Justice Network’s (NBEJN) Climate Change Working Group. She chairs the Equity and Environmental Justice Committee of ReThink, a transportation advocacy organization. She was named a 2021 Hoosier Resilience Hero by Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI). The Reclaiming Indiana Avenue Planning Initiative goal is to bring residents and stakeholders together to design a community-driven future, one that prioritizes people over projects and seeks to address past harms. Reclaiming Indiana Avenue is an important and rare opportunity to lay the framework to collaboratively chart a new course for the Indiana Avenue and MLK Corridors. https://www.reclaimindianaavenue.org/ https://www.instagram.com/reclaim_indiana_avenue/
78 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
Designing in Color
Designing in Color (DCo), a collective of architects and designers of culture. Their mission aims to diversify the way architecture is taught and practiced to amplify marginalized communities who’ve been historically silenced and erased throughout the design process. Opalia is a Massachusetts based designer, advocate, and one of the Co-founders of Designing in Color. She enjoys residential architecture, real estate development and community building. In addition to her work as a designer, Opalia’s passions lie in curating spaces of inclusion for quieted voices to collaborate, grow, and enjoy themselves. She is also an avid traveler and is looking forward to her next cultural exchange. She holds a Master of Architecture degree and has studied abroad in both Florence, Italy and Tokyo, Japan. Rubin is a designer with experience designing movie theaters, industrial, and retail spaces around the States. He is currently working on new projects for a major, globally renowned client. From work with the marketing teams at Taubman College at the University of Michigan - where he earned his Master's in Architecture - to a multitude of graphic design jobs, he has become comfortable at managing branding while creating artistic narratives. In what little spare time he has, Rubin pursues an active art and photography business, selling his works online and doing frequent photoshoots from his home base in Seattle. Instagram: @designingincolor
28 minutes | Apr 12, 2021
DOES ARCHITECTURE HAVE CULTURE?
In the context of multifamily and affordable housing, does the architecture aesthetic represent the culture or the historical context of the neighborhood? Melissa explores this topic with two articles: A city within a city and Architecture and Racism: A Conversation.
41 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
CONVERSATION W/ ELLEN ABRAHAM Assoc AIA, NOMA, MBA
Through her first love, Architecture, Dominican-born and raised designer and entrepreneur Ellen Abraham aims to push the needle forward. This MBA graduate and Senior Project Technical Lead at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, nurtures her passions through leading various community-building initiatives, design-based philanthropy and high impact social justice & design advocacy projects. She co-founded and co-leads a new initiative at SOM called the Equity Design Lab. Ellen currently serves on the NYCOBA NOMA Board focused on finance management for the NY chapter, the Architexx Board focused on gender equity and the historic & landmarked Ephesus Church campus Board in NYC, as Building Committee Chairwoman, where she leads a 15-member committee. She is the Founder of Architect Pins & Elle Abōd, two companies focused on the celebration of diverse design identities and the promotion of BIPOC Architect and Designer Guest Editors, respectively. Links: Architect Pins Website: https://www.architectpins.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/architectpins/ Elle Abod IG: https://www.instagram.com/elleabod/ Professional Contact LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ellenabraham/
66 minutes | Feb 27, 2021
Urban Renewal and Public Health
Carolyn Swope MPH, Well AP, is a doctoral student at Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Her research interests focus on the relationship between housing and health disparities, with particular attention to historical housing policies producing present-day housing inequities. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Carolyn worked at various organizations promoting healthy housing and communities, spanning the private, nonprofit, and local government sectors. Carolyn received her MPH in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and BA in Anthropology and International Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.
79 minutes | Feb 13, 2021
Decolonise Architecture (UK)
‘Decolonise Architecture’ is a collective of students and alumni from the University of Bath driven to tackle institutional racism within architecture and its education. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/decolonisearchitecture/?hl=en Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/decolonise-architecture-uk/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/DecoloniseArch TANYARADZWA CHIGANZE (@Tanya.etc_) Background: Zimbabwean and Welsh. Architectural education needs to acknowledge its role in shaping society and the barriers students may face as a result of it being an exclusive profession. In order to give our global student population a holistic and empowering format of education, it must challenge the consequences of white privilege and shift away from eurocentricism. JASMINE LAWRENCE (@Luceaalawrence) Background: British and Caribbean. Throughout my time in architectural education, it has become increasingly apparent that architecture is far from a level playing field. I feel ever more fortunate to have studied it in a top university as a minority ethnic and want to help make this change so that this is not such a special circumstance in education or in practice. MOHIT BUCH (@Mohitbuch) Background: Indian and British. Learning about the ways in which different cultures have adapted to their conditions and climates will only make you a better architect and your designs more responsive. HARSHA GORE (@harshag_) Background: Indian and Swiss. Much of the world today faces the lasting repercussions of dominating Western practices and media. We cannot change what we look like or where we come from - so it is our responsibility to make the world a more equal place, one reflective of our ethnic and traditional cultures. Not on the call KYALE MAKAU MWENDWA Background: Kenyan. Architecture education can be seen as particularly isolating for minority ethnic students, even when compared to the already skewed number for higher education in general. I believe that by celebrating POC architects, we can give minority students the courage and confidence that is indeed possible to break through the glass ceiling. FLORA JING LIN NG (@atelier.fn) Background: Singaporean and Chinese. Providing a platform for underrepresented groups to share knowledge and discuss their architecture in a very crowded Eurocentric room. The architectural culture is changing, and we have a chance here to do the right thing.
55 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Death by Architecture Podcast
Tenille Bettenhausen is a business developer serving the Los Angeles market for the American Institute of Steel Construction. She earned her BS degree in Architecture from Arizona State University. After graduation, Tenille started her career in architecture with Callison Architecture, where she worked on a wide variety of projects including design rollout projects for Nordstrom and Washington Mutual Bank. She has 18 years of previous experience as an architectural project designer, project engineer in construction, and for the last four years, has been the Business Development Manager for a local architecture firm. She is heavily involved in her local chapter of the AIA and is currently the co-chair for the Women in Architecture committee. Tenille is also a podcaster for her new show Death By Architecture. Her passion is marketing and building design, and she finds business development and relationship building of the utmost importance. Website: http://deathbyarchitecturepod.com/ Instagram: @deathbyarchitecturepod • Instagram photos and videos
69 minutes | Jan 16, 2021
CONVERSATION W/ ANZILLA GILMORE FAIA
Anzilla Gilmore's passion for architecture manifests itself through service. When she graduated from Prairie View A&M University in the late 90’s, she entered a profession where very few people looked like her. She felt the lack of representation acutely and decided to take action to ensure that no black female that came after her would want for lack of representation. Gilmore has dedicated herself to professional mentorship, community outreach and professional service through leadership in professional organizations for over 15 years. She is a founder and the current treasurer of the Houston chapter of NOMA, sits on the National NOMA finance committee and is the founder and current advisor to the Architects Foundation Diversity Advancement Scholars Mentorship Program. Gilmore was the 2019 chair of the AIA’s National Ethics Council and was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in February 2019. In her community, Gilmore serves as the Vice President of the board of Municipal Utility District 23 in Fort Bend County and is a Lifetime member of the PVAMU National Alumni Association. Gilmore received a Bachelor of Architecture from the School of Architecture at Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas at Arlington. She became only the fifth female registered architect in the state of Texas and the first in the city of Houston in 2004. She worked in traditional architectural practice in Waco and Houston before transitioning to project management. Gilmore has worked as an owner’s representative in Higher Education for 16 years; first at the University of Houston and currently at Rice University where she is the Assistant Director for Project Management and Engineering. Gilmore is married and has three children.
85 minutes | Jan 4, 2021
Desiree V Cooper (DVC) Memorial Scholarship
Please note that this Desiree V. Cooper (DVC) Memorial Scholarship Foundation is not the same as the Architects Foundation Desiree V. Cooper Memorial Fund. (Confusing… I know). Desiree was one of my dearest friends until she tragically passed away a couple of years ago. 2021 will be the fourth year of the Desiree V. Cooper (DVC) Memorial Scholarship offering assistance to those taking the architect registration exam. It seeks to honor the life and legacy of Desiree V. Cooper by championing the things she was passionate about in her professional career and personal endeavors: providing continual service to her communities and encouraging minorities and women in the advancement of their careers in architecture. To that end, the Foundation awards Scholarships for the architectural registration exam in the following categories: The Black Women in Architecture Award, The Harrisburg Memorial Award, The DC Memorial Award, and the NOMA award (new 2021). For more information about this scholarship: http://bwa-network.com/dvc-memorial-scholarship/ Submission responses must be received no later than 11:59pm on January 11, 2021 https://www.facebook.com/desireesvictorycrew/ Sharlita Olaleye won the 2020 DVC Black Women in Architecture award. Tya Winn won the 2019 DVC Black Women in Architecture award. She is an advocate for affordable housing and community development in Philadelphia. Winn is the Director of Project Planning for Habitat for Humanity in Philadelphia where she serves as project manager for acquisition, design, and permitting phases of their projects. She also works on affordable housing policies with local civic organizations. Jennifer T. Matthews won the 2019 DVC DC Memorial Award. She is an Architectural Designer at Sherlock, Smith & Adams. With six years of healthcare design experience, Jennifer has worked on projects with multiple DC Metro healthcare providers. She was awarded the 2018 Healthcare Design Magazine's Educator Honor Award for creating Array Architects' annual Mind the Gap event. Her recent outreach efforts include professional practice seminars, design studio critiques, and managing her professional development platform, Creative's XP. Katherine Williams, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP is co-founder of DVC Memorial Scholarship. She is a licensed architect in Northern Virginia and currently a Senior Project Manager at a DC university. Katherine has written extensively about the architecture profession, diversity in the industry, and community development. She has served as editor for multiple publications and was the NOMA magazine editor from 2009-2014. She writes at katherinerw.com and is publisher/editor for archstories.com. Nikolas Hill Assoc. AIA, NOMA, is a member of the DVC Memorial Scholarship Committee; he hails from Chicago and has been living in Baltimore since 2012. He has worked as a Project Designer/PM at an A/E firm in the DMV region for the past three years. He is currently working on multiple projects in the aviation, transit infrastructure, & municipal government sectors. He currently serves as the Programming Chair for the Baltimore NOMA chapter. He spends his free time falling asleep on TV shows with his wife, Lauren; having his four-year-old son, Nixon, tell him nonsensical "Knock, Knock" jokes; and sourcing the most glorious quince, Champagne vinegar, & lemon thyme to use in shrubs.
77 minutes | Nov 15, 2020
Primaverarch is a grassroots organization committed to stimulating change for the recognition of women in architecture and related fields. Inspired by the renaissance era and the symbolic idea of spring, Primaverarch is a movement of rebirth, revival, and renewal. Primaverarch is created by four minority-women who recently graduated from the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York. Throughout their studies, they experienced a lack of professional support, mentorship, and recognition. Without anyone to share similar values in regards to their diverse backgrounds, Primaverarch becomes a catalyst movement dedicated to creating a seat at the table for all women in the field. Blooming into future architects, the team is leading the next movement. With everything they do – from a set of interviews, creative series, mentorships, and interactive workshops, they are focused on one goal: How can they support the future generation of architects? Social Media and Website: Instagram: instagram.com/primaverarch LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/primaverarch Website: primaverarch.org Nadeen Hassan Nadeen Hassan is an architectural designer and activist who is committed to making a space for herself and others in the architectural profession. As a first-generation Egyptian-American, Nadeen recognized the unrelenting atmosphere in many parts of the world. She believes that an architect is a problem-solver that attends to the need of not one, but every group of people. Throughout her studies, Nadeen tackles subjects of inclusivity, activism, and social change within her design projects and research. Not having support at the beginning of Nadeen's academic journey motivated her to become that network of support for the next generation. Chaerin Kim Chaerin (she/her) is a recent B.Arch graduate and Senior Editor of Primaverarch based in New York. Passionate about the built environment, she is adamant in creating spaces that are inclusive and reflective of the cultures we design for. During her studies at Spitzer School of Architecture, Chaerin engaged in courses focusing on social justice, activism in NYC, and key housing and urban issues in Latin American cities. Soany Marquez Soany is a designer, artist, and activist who is interested in architecture as a form of activism and artistic expression. Born in Honduras, she is constantly pushing boundaries in her education focusing on diversity and inclusivity for women. She is aware that architecture can be a powerful tool to pave the way for social reform. As a first-generation architecture graduate, she is dedicated to changing the narrative around minority women in design and construction. Martha Zambrano Martha was born and raised in NYC by Venezuelan immigrant parents. She obtained her associate's degree in business administration in 2014 and later her bachelor's degree in architecture in 2020. Both fields have opened her eyes to how unrepresented young women are in predominantly male careers. Teaming up with her classmates and longtime friends, she wants young women in the architecture field to have a platform for support, and encouragement. She hopes young women use this platform to its fullest advantage.
96 minutes | Nov 2, 2020
CONVERSATION W/ DEVANNE PENA
Devanne Pena ("Dev-in Pee-nuh") is an Architect Entrepreneur. She is proud to be among the first 400 African American women living history to be licensed to practice architecture. A fourth generation Cape Verdean, Devanne conducted independent research in her native West African islands to define future architectural service for the culture. She is the owner of a design consultancy, Archidev LLC, and this year founded a start-up called AFROSPACE. Creating resilient and protective space for black women is a design problem she intends to solve.an architectural practice as well as . She first envisioned this venture by asking the question, “How can we design resilient, habitual and protective spaces for Black Women+”? Twitter: https://twitter.com/DevannePena LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/devannepena/
25 minutes | Oct 25, 2020
CONVERSATION W/ SAM SMITH
Sam Smith is a writer, activist and social critic who has been at the forefront of new ideas and new politics for more than five decades. He covered Washington under nine presidents, edited the Progressive Review for over 50 years, wrote four books, helped to start six organizations including the national Green Party, the DC Humanities Council and the DC Statehood Party. In this episode, we talked about urban renewal and if architectural is political. Become an insider by supporting the show at https://glow.fm/archispolly where you can support the show on a recurring or one-time basis!
35 minutes | Oct 18, 2020
Tangible Remnants Interview
Here is a rebroadcast of my interview with Tangible Remnants, a podcast that explores the interconnectedness of architecture, historic preservation, sustainability, race & gender. Host Nakita Reed and I met at a women in architecture event years ago. Check out Tangible Remnants on Apple & Spotify Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TangibleRemnants/
26 minutes | Oct 9, 2020
CONVERSATION W/ DERRICK WARD
Derrick Ward is a general assignment reporter for News4. A native of the District of Columbia, Ward grew up in Marshall Heights and the H Street Corridor in Northeast. He lived through the 1968 riots and documented his experiences on News4 as part of the station's 40th anniversary coverage. Ward attended HD Woodson High School and the University of Maryland. Ward's journalism career began in radio. He worked for WPFW, WAMU and WTOP, covering major stories such as the Iran-Contra hearings, the Sept. 11 attack on the Pentagon, and the Washington-area sniper shootings. When Ward made the move to television reporting, his first job was at WKBW-TV in Buffalo. He returned to Washington in 2006 and began reporting for News4. When not working, Ward spends time with his three children. He also plays guitar and golf. Ward currently lives in Bowie, Md. Become an insider by supporting the show at https://glow.fm/archispolly where you can support the show on a recurring or one-time basis!
96 minutes | Oct 2, 2020
CARIBBEAN SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE ALUMNAE
Shelly-Anne Tulia Scot, AIA and Shani Chambers, AIA are both graduated from the Caribbean School of Architecture and graduated from Florida A&M University. In this episode, they share their Caribbean experiences, culture shock and racism. Become an insider by supporting the show at https://glow.fm/archispolly where you can support the show on a recurring or one-time basis! Shani Chambers is a Virginia based architect with over 15 years’ experience in the planning, design and construction industry. Her specialties include Federal, Public Safety and Industrial Architecture. She excels at the integration of complex processes and user needs into high performance design. She also enjoys dabbling in weaving for lessons in architecture. Ms. Chambers graduated from Florid A&M University and The Caribbean School of Architecture University of Technology, Jamaica. Shelly-Anne Tulia Scott is the Director of Architecture at Sizemore Group in Atlanta GA. She is a Trinidadian born architect who started her architectural education at the Caribbean School of Architecture after completing an Associate of Arts degree in Interior Design. She worked both in Miami, Trinidad & Barbados before returning to do complete her M. Arch degree at Florida A&M University. She has seventeen years combined experience in Architecture and Interior Design with a broad range of experience in Award winning Libraries, Mixed Use Development, Religious, and Academic Buildings as well as in Feasibility Studies and Concept Design Projects. As an added bonus to her creative flare she is also a photographer with an eye for unique perspectives in the building environment and in the emotions of people. See some of her photography work here (http://tuliascott.com). She is also active with community and professional groups like USGBC Equity Committee, AIS HSDC, NOMA, Globalbike, Southern Scholarship Foundation Alumni and a graduate of the Leadership Greenville Class 42 and 2017 Greenville Dreams Grassroots Development Program with training in community leadership and leveraging community assets.
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