February 20, 2022
12 Black Architects Making History Today
Hannah Feniak | Architizer
Black History Month is a time to reflect upon the past and reckon with the long history of racism and inequality that has disenfranchised Black Americans to this day. It is also a time to acknowledge the contributions and celebrate the achievements of generations of Black communities across all areas of society. A history that should not be limited to a single month, we recognize the urgency of listening to and amplifying Black voices all year round.
The under-representation of Black architects and designers continues to mar the architectural profession. Today, Black people make up 14% of the United States’ population; yet, less than 2% of the approximately 113,000 architects licensed in our country are Black. In addition to increasing diversity within the profession, the industry must confront the need to design more equitable spaces and cities and incorporate communities of color into these design processes. As Kweku Addo-Atuah beautifully states, “It takes the collective populace to imagine and shape the built environment, and for it to be truly reflective and responsive to society, inclusiveness must be at the forefront of collaboration.”
Previously, we have sought to posthumously recognize the work of 10 Black Architects Whose Work has Shaped America. By acknowledging these figures from the past whose legacies continue to impact our present, we hoped to contribute to a joint roadmap for building a more equitable future. This year, we highlight contemporary Black architects whose impactful work is forging history in the field today. Including A+Awards jury members, established practitioners and up-and-coming talents, the following architects have not only been singled out for their distinguished designs, but also for their leadership roles in advocating for a more diverse architecture industry and equitable built environment.