Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.
Iesha V. Roberson, Assoc. AIA
Tuskegee University Graduate c/o 2015, Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch)
How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?
Based solely on my personal experience graduating from Tuskegee University, I can tell you it was an experience I would never take back. Our program was pretty small enough to feel as it was a close knit family atmosphere. My professors were pretty supportive and experienced in their respective areas of study and still till this day serve as great mentors. The opportunities that were given to us, not only challenged us, but also made us see how far this career field could take us with what was taught to us. Taking advantage of a rare opportunity to pursue architecture especially as a black woman, You always feel as if you are always standing out from the crowd, unfortunately people may treat or view you differently because of your skin tone and other things that comes with it.
Why do you want to get your license?
Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be in a career that challenged my creativity, problem solving, while being competitive! It may be difficult for most but it is so satisfying on different levels for me! It allows you to leave your mark on humankind while coming up with ways to help people live and work in better environments.
The biggest inspiration in my life is every challenge that comes my way. Challenges, much more than anything else, keeps me up no matter how hard they can get sometimes. I always believe that while challenges were meant to sometimes distract us, they can also give us hope and inspire us to be better. They spice up our lives, after all.
How important is representation?
I feel representation is important for not only people of color in architecture but for African Americans as well. Believe it or not, there are people out there that do not realize or know that this is a career option, and not realize that some have never MET a black architect for others to become INSPIRED. I do however feel as though supporting organizations such as AIA, NOMA, etc are making an effort to assist closing the gaps. In reality, we cant increase our numbers unless we all pitch in and do our part. We cant say “It is predominantly Caucasian profession” but then not help with recruiting. Its looking about looking at the situation holistically.
“My goal, if I was going to do art, fine art, would have been to become Picasso or greater. That always sounds so funny to people, comparing yourself to someone in the past that has done so much, and in your life you’re not even allowed to think that you can do as much. That’s a mentality that suppresses humanity.”
Translation: Do not put others down for their ambition because that mentality can create doubt and where there is doubt, there is usually unfulfilled potential.
– Kanye West