Building more diverse architects

Listen to the episode

… Not more diverse architecture. Architects. Did you ever notice? Though your doctor may be black, and your lawyer may be a Latina, and other professionals in your life may be gay or trans, most architects are plain vanilla white men. What’s up with that?

We’ll talk with a progressive-minded architecture professor –  a white man, as it happens – who places at least part of the blame on the academy. University of Hartford Associate Professor of Architecture Theodore Sawruk  says that although college architecture programs may work to attract a diverse student body, and congratulate themselves for it, those students may actually fail to graduate because they have few mentors and role models like them to model success.

But why take the professor’s white male word for it? He’s assembled a lovely panel of underrepresented architecture students for us – three undergrads and a grad student – who can tell us what it’s like to be black, female, queer, or trans as they try to make their way in the competitive, even backbiting, field of architecture.  

Ted Sawruk and a Connecticut Verizon store he designed in 2019

Jason McDonald and his masterplan for a residential eco-tower in Florence, Italy

Aurora Perrault and her five-story mixed-use building with retail and office spaces on the ground and second floor and residential spaces on the floors above. The goal of the building was to create a sense of community and a connection to nature for building residents and neighbors.


Renee Parry’s New Haven mixed use residential/commercial complex plan


Grad student Magic Santos and her Phillips Metropolitan CME Church in North Hartford, CT

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