Temple Graduate Challenges Stereotypes
Recent M.Arch graduate Opalia Meade is challenging the stereotypes associated with the architecture profession. Along with 4 other young professionals, she co-founded Designing in Color, a think-tank collaborative whose goal is to “challenge forms of oppression in architecture education and practice, defined by systems of socioeconomic class, racism, and patriarchy.” They are developing a platform that students and professionals can use as a resource to begin to deconstruct forms of oppression in architecture.
Designing in Color hosted a workshop at the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Conference in Los Angeles at the beginning of 2017. The goal of the workshop was to engage students and professionals in a conversation about oppression, and to raise awareness of this pressing matter. The discussion topics were threefold:
"Representation - Currently in architecture and related fields, there is a dearth of media and popular representation of work that reflects the diversity and creativity of minority designers. What is the cause of this minimalist and biased view of minority-owned businesses in the industry? This discussion will challenge participants to immerse themselves in dialogue that critiques how architects from all different sectors are viewed by the public and industry."
"Censorship - While there is a multiplicity to the creative endeavors of designers, this complexity involves many stakeholders who affect the direction of any given project. This inevitable condition can negatively affect the outcome of projects, their representation in product and the people who use them. This is not exclusive to practice but in fact a troubling issue in education which often times does not prioritize social constructs and culture in studio practices. How do we create cohesive environments for all kinds of work in our field?"
"Opportunity - Designers who identify from minority backgrounds have diverse experience and knowledge. This unique advantage creates a body of people who can create provocative and industry-altering work. What are alternative areas where this work can be done and how do we collaborate with them?"
"Designing in Color aims to draw attention to the issues and experiences of underrepresented people in architecture. Their workshop helps navigate these issues and teaches students and professionals how to make sure their voices are heard. To find out more about this topic, head to www.designingincolor.com, where you’ll find videos and a blog further addressing these issues."
Designing in Color encourages you to submit any work you have with brief descriptions that challenges, questions, or broaches the topics of intersectionality, identity, or other as pertaining to the goals of Designing in Color to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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