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The Los Angeles-based designer dishes out the benefits of multicultural integration in urban design.
“I believe architects need to create spaces where people can see themselves and feel represented, whether through the adaptation of visuals or geometrical representations expressive of multicultural elements and typologies,” Ronald Oziogu tells Forbes.
Yet cultural diversity remains a problem among architects. According to Forbes, the representation gap seldom narrows for communities of color.
For Black and African Americans, that number is a shocking 1.8 percent of the 118,291 National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Certificate holders.
The NCARB reports that Asians make up 6.6 percent of all NCARB Certificate holders; Hispanic or Latino architects only 4.9 percent; women architects now make up nearly a quarter of the certificate holder population, a 2.6 percentage-point increase compared to 2018. However, a whopping 83 percent of NCARB record holders identify as white.
“The possibility of being an architect or having language for architecture hasn’t been widely attainable nor promoted to Black people, so it feels like a space where we don’t belong, but we do,” Oziogu says, adding that it’s up to companies “to do the groundwork of inviting and including voices of color and respecting their contributions so that it can propagate throughout the profession and into academia.”
Forbes contributor Kori Hale argues that engaging diverse communities through mass media efforts and pop culture can also challenge industry diversity disparities. The Culturebanx CEO notes that “Black Americans spend the most time tapped into media and the pop cultural zeitgeist and have made significant contributions to the social fabric of American culture,” so meeting the community at that intersection can help architects build closer connections and integrate the community’s experiences into the environment.
“Black people have been heavily impacted by architecture, so an expansive Black perspective should exist in the architectural lexicon,” says Hale.
Read the full article on Forbes.
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