#FutureArchitectFriday: Gabriel Soomar
Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.
Gabriel Jean-Paul Soomar
2nd Year Architecture Student
How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?
My existence and role as a black architecture student has always been something that I was fully aware of. Throughout my studies thus far, I have realized how little is done to make people of color feel included – both in education and in practice. Much of what is taught is Eurocentric – the history, the methodologies,and the precedents/references. The studio curriculum could be more inclusive in that the subjects become more relevant to people of color. The lack of relevance/absence of representation forces students of color to play this game of catch-up, having to learn about a culture they didn’t grow up in.
Why do you want to get your license?
As a person of color, I would like to see more representation in architecture in future generations; if you don’t see it, you have trouble imagining yourself being it. I would also like to make a difference on the built environment, especially in communities of people of color.
My two biggest influences throughout my education have been my West-Indian heritage – the architecture and, more importantly, the culture – and Germane Barnes, who has been both a mentor and a friend.
How important is representation?
Representation is necessary in everything; if you don’t see it, you have trouble imagining yourself being it. Similarly, seeing people who look like you represent you at the table will lead to more acceptance of architecture in minority communities.
“I have never let schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain