Mickey speaks with Marci Reed, Executive Director, Architects Foundation at The American Institute of Architects about the organization’s focus on empowering a diverse, next-generation of architects. Among the topics we cover:
- Architecture is a profession held in high regard, although it’s mysterious to people who aren’t exposed to it either as a possible career, or as a client (think Seinfeld’s Art Vandelay).
- The nature of design thinking makes architects natural problem solvers – which can lend itself to social impact solutions through well designed buildings and communities – which is also the reason the profession needs to be diverse – so all voices are on both sides of the table.
- Architectural education is rigorous and expensive – architecture students who take out loans generally graduate with 25% more debt than the national average student loan debt.
- In 1968 Whitney Young challenged the profession to become more diverse; we have made some strides but it’s not enough. (https://www.50yearsafterwhitneyyoung.org/)
- We lost a generation of architects in the 2008 downturn; we could be facing a similar situation depending on how COVID plays out (architects can’t take their tests for licensure as testing centers have been closed).