PANEL: Seeking Equity and Architectural Education

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Webinar On-Demand
From Architectural Record’s 2020 Innovation Conference
Presented by Sunil Bald, Kwesi Daniels and Adrian Parr

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the current state of racial inequity in the architectural community.
  2. List several examples of how architectural colleges can increase the diversity of student and faculty populations.
  3. Identify how traditional architectural college curriculums focus on Euro-centric design elements that contribute to a lack of diversity.
  4. Discuss the importance of actively recruiting and modifying the admissions process that allows for a greater racial and ethnic range of prospective students


This test is no longer available for credit

Mitchell Silver, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and Justin Garrett Moore, director of the New York City Public Design Commission, will discuss the design tactics that can make urban space safer and more welcoming to all, by such initiatives as Parks Without Borders, improved signage and expanded uses. The discussion will look at streetscapes, the quality of design in public housing, and the “uneven geography” of cities and the privatization of public space that have historically limited access across racial and socioeconomic divides.

Three prominent educators from three very different institutions will debate how to bring greater diversity and inclusion to architectural education, in terms of students and faculty, as well as how to revise the curriculum to reflect a multiplicity of perspectives beyond the Western canon. Join Kwesi Daniels, head of architecture at Tuskegee University, the oldest architecture school of a historically Black college; Adrian Parr, dean of the 1,300-student strong College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington, where half the students identify as LatinX and African American; and Sunil Bald, the associate dean for curriculum and admissions at the Yale School of Architecture, as they discuss this vital topic.

Sunil Bald Sunil Bald is Associate Dean, Professor adjunct, and Director of the M Arch program at Yale University. He is also a founding partner of the New York-based Studio SUMO, a former Architectural Record Design Vanguard firm, which was awarded the annual prize in architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2015. Bald has previously taught design and theory at Cornell, Columbia and the University of Michigan

Kwesi Daniels is the Head of the Architecture Department at Tuskegee University. His professional experience ranges across various disciplines, including historic preservation, architecture, sustainability management, and urban geography. Over his twenty-year career he has worked for architecture firms and government agencies on public and private sector building projects around the country. He has also played an active role in the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), the Alabama Black Heritage Council, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. However, his greatest honor has been to teaching students at Tuskegee, Temple, NYU, and Columbia University in the City of New York, in addition to lecturing nationally. In 2018 he began developing a historic preservation program at Tuskegee University, which has resulted in the documentation of civil rights sites in Selma, Montgomery, and Tuskegee, Ala. Professor Daniels earned a BArch and MArch in architecture from Tuskegee University and the University of Illinois at Chicago and a MS in sustainability management from Columbia University. In 2020 he earned a Ph.D. in urban geography from Temple University. His doctoral research focused on studentification and its social impact on West Philadelphia neighborhoods. In his spare time, he enjoys playing billiards, cane twirlin’ and spending time with his family.

Adrian Parr, is the Dean of the College of Architecture, Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington and a UNESCO Chair of Water and Human Settlements. In her capacity as a UNESCO water chair, Parr was selected by the European Cultural Center to curate an exhibition for the 2021 Venice Architecture Biennale on Watershed Urbanism where she will feature DFW and its current and future relationship to the Trinity River system. She has published extensively on environmental politics, sustainable development, and design in the public interest. She is the author of the trilogy Hijacking Sustainability (MIT Press), The Wrath of Capital (Columbia University Press), and Birth of a New Earth (Columbia University Press) in addition to other books of cultural theory. She is the producer and co-director (with Sean Hughes) of the multi-award winning documentary, The Intimate Realities of Water, that examines the water challenges women living in Nairobi’s slum face. She has been interviewed for her views on climate change by The New York Times, television news, and other media outlets, and is a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Review of Books. Parr received her Ph.D. in visual culture and philosophy from Monash University in Australia. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in philosophy from Deakin University in Australia.


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Originally published in October 2020