Monday, February 4, 2008

The lack of diversity in Architecture and Public Space

Architects have the awesome task of defining the spaces that we work and live in. The creation of this space can be for aesthetic beauty or for simple functionality. Architects can define space by light, shadow, color, massing, materials, repetition, objects and so on. Ultimately these spaces that Architects create that we all live in, reflect their culture or their clients' culture through space. These spaces help give us index clues on the values and mindset of the larger overall culture.

The spaces that have been created in America have often been very Euro-centric. While America boasts about it's ever increasing melting pot, the defining of space through an Afro-centric viewpoint has been absent from the stew. Moreover from race, studies have shown that women might perceive space differently then men, especially in dealing with conformability and safety. While women have made significant inroads in the male dominated profession of architecture, the percentage of licensed black architects is still at 2 percent. The percentage for black women in architecture is even more abysmal. Here is an excerpt from a story in Architect Online last year about the percentage of black women in architecture:

"First, the good news: The number of black women licensed to practice architecture in the United States has quadrupled over the past 15 years.The bad news? That number is still only 196."

By the article's percentage, black women only make up 0.02% of architects in America. So the question this blog poses is, How does the lack of diversity in architecture affect public spaces?Please comment and tell us your opinion.

1 comment:

theworstofperth.com said...

The demographic of architects over here is something perhaps best not looked into. The suburban space is also often turned over to the builder rather than the architect. Like getting a signwriter to do your graphic design