California-based spatial design collective SPACE INDUSTRIES has collaborated with performance-based art practice ELL to compile an extensive list of anti-racist, pro-diversity resources for communities within architecture, design and construction. The continually updated list includes a range of events, articles, firms, pro bono services and social media channels that promote the cause and provide a platform for Black-owned businesses to have their voices heard and their talents showcased.
Curated by Brenda Zhang, Kevin Bernard Moultrie Daye, Celeste Martore and F. Jason Campbell, the list is designed to help the AEC community take a pro-active stance in seeking racial justice and equity throughout the industry.
Follow the below link to access the document, and reach out to Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like additional resources added to the list:
Each of the list’s co-creators have their own perspectives on why such resources are necessary and beneficial to the profession moving forward. “The values of any society are inscribed into space,” remarks SPACE INDUSTRIES cofounder Kevin Daye. “The buildings, parks, streets and monuments that we choose to erect both materialize the ethics of the past and set the stage for the present. Shouldn’t we constantly question if they are still relevant for The Now?”
Oakland-based environmental designer Celeste Martore points towards holes in education on Black history as one of the prevailing issues to resolve, in the realm of architecture and beyond. “As a student, were you ever taught about quilombos? Wasn’t it part of your history curriculum? Required reading? Not enough time? Can’t get to it this semester?”
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@ncarb develops and administrates programs for architecture licensure in the US. In order to become a licensed architect in the US you must first pay and meet all core requirements (3,740 hours of “experience”, 6 exams, and a professional arch degree) set by NCARB. Currently black architects make up only 2% of all licensed architects. NCARB’s Board lacks diversity in race and gender. #archsowhite
Meanwhile, inter-disciplinary designer F. Jason Campbell emphasized the need for the industry — including its media — to highlight the work and amplify the voices of Black designers: “We are so far removed from the actions that facilitate our existence, and often so from tactics used to control the built environment. Building requires power. Exposure to buildings requires power. Shaping the lens, by which we decide what is considered successful, requires power. As we look for opportunities to act, acknowledge the need to uncover and amplify Black voices. We have been shaping space for a very long time.”
Finally, SPACE INDUSTRIES cofounder Brenda Zhang has a call to action for the profession: “I’m calling in non-Black people of color and white people in these disciplines to ask ourselves, what are we committing to change about ourselves, our schools, our practices TODAY and EVERY DAY in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives toward racial justice and Black liberation? What resources, access, comforts, conveniences will we willingly give up because they represent privileges we never earned, that are not passive or innocent, but that actively suppress Black creators, cultural production, and communities?”
We encourage everyone in the Architizer community to explore these resources, follow these social media channels, and share this document with their colleagues and friends throughout the profession.
SPACE INDUSTRIES is a spatial design collective based in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Recently, they were participating artists in Gray Area Foundation’s 2019—2020 Experiential Space Research Lab, producing the exhibition, THE END OF YOU, and they have been published in Ground Up, Failed Architecture, KooZ/Arch, and Room One Thousand (forthcoming).
ELL is a performance-based art practice conceived by F. Jason Campbell in early 2016. The work produced leverages the fervor of a talented cast of artists and designers, all interested in working across media and discipline, rooted in architectural discourse.
Kevin Bernard Moultrie Daye (KBMD) makes music, designs, curates, fabricates, and organizes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Oakland, California. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of California, Los Angeles. Recently, he co-curated the exhibition, Forever, A Moment: Black Meditations on Space and Time, for SOMArts in San Francisco, and is one of two 2021 Emerging Curators at LACE. He is a founding member of SPACE INDUSTRIES.
Celeste Martore is an environmental designer based in Oakland, California (Ohlone land). She often tells herself that our most powerful tool (outside of empathy) is our ability as storytellers. Literary in conception, Celeste’s practice reimagines how space interacts with the Black body. Her work weaves architectural strategies into performance, focusing on atmosphere (through object symbolism, form and color) as a vehicle to uplift the narratives of Black communities in the Bay Area. Her work has spanned multiple industries including theater, film, dance, technology, installation art and experiential design. Celeste is a Master of Architecture candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Design and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Environmental Design from the University of California, Berkeley. She also played Division-1 soccer for UC Berkeley as a center midfielder.
F. Jason Campbell is an inter-disciplinary designer, leveraging the fields of architecture, photography, and exhibition design. His work addresses the spatial properties and actions required to claim, make, and keep space; and the incompatibility of space that was not built with us in mind. In tandem, he is the founder of ELL, a performance-based art practice, and a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching core and advanced option studios. Jason holds a Master of Architecture from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning.
Brenda Zhang (Bz) is an architectural designer and a visual artist currently based on Tongva land (Los Angeles, USA). Their practice is primarily concerned with physical and cultural construction as entangled processes and the ongoing practice of translation as a deep inquiry into how power and narrative shape one another. As a queer femme Chinese-diasporic artist, they construct new narratives through intentional misreading, misalignment, hiding in plain sight, and an extreme attachment to certain objects. They hold a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Visual Arts from Brown University. Bz is a founding member of SPACE INDUSTRIES.
Hero image via GoodFon