The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture presents Shifting the Landscape: Black Architects and Planners, 1968 to Now, a symposium focused on the activism, engagement, and impact of black architects and planners over the past fifty years.
September 27-29, 2018
The symposium will bring together architects, planners, and scholars of the built environment. Participants reflect on key events in the late 1960s that shaped architecture and planning in the decades that followed.
The symposium will also bring greater visibility to black architects of today, and highlight projects of architects and planners currently working to create more equitable spaces, all while connecting architecture professionals with scholars to make career opportunities more attractive for future practitioners.
Architect J. Max Bond, Jr. served as executive director of Architects’ Renewal Committee of Harlem (ARCH). In 1968, ARCH produced this community-oriented design for the 125th Street East Harlem Triangle Plan. Drawing by E. Donald Van Purnell. Courtesy of Arthur Symes.
In June 1968, Whitney M. Young Jr., Executive Director of the National Urban League, delivered a landmark address to the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He called for more diversity in the profession and challenged architects to act on critical issues facing urban communities. Following Young’s speech, new funding initiatives opened doors for minority students to pursue architecture and planning degrees in greater numbers. Also during this era, architect J. Max Bond Jr. mentored several students and shaped their commitments to social justice and community needs.
Join us as we reflect on past achievements, expose current challenges, and share aspirations for the future.