#MentorMonday: Dimitrius Lynch, NCARB | LEED BD+C | WELL AP
Welcome to #MentorMonday! Mondays are dedicated to celebrating Black LICENSED Architects, Designers, and individuals in the profession of Architecture!
The questions asked to these individuals are to allow us into their lives and to be used as an inspiration. I hope you all enjoy this series.
Name: Dimitrius Lynch
Hometown: Compton, California
What/who sparked your interest in Architecture and when?
I was fortunate to attend Marcus Garvey School which had a unique curriculum where, among other focuses, it provided a distinctive foundation of cultural awareness. Around third grade our class studied the history of ancient Egypt including historical figures such as Imhotep, chief architect to the Egyptian pharaoh Djoser, architect of the Step Pyramid at Sakkara (first known monumental stone building), and in some circles considered the god of architecture. Our class was assigned a class-project to build a scale model of a pyramid. From that time architecture was imprinted on me. Some time later, my skills and interest in math and art led a teacher/counselor to suggest architecture as a career path. I’ve been on the path since.
What does it mean to be a black architect/designer to you? Do you feel that you have more responsibility?
Yes, there is undoubtedly more responsibility. In the day to day work, there is the added responsibility and pressure of representing a community and culture, to prove worth and dispel any misconceptions that may exist. Beyond the work, I perceive myself as an example to others of opportunities that exist beyond a street hustle, sports or entertainment. In addition, I understand how hard the road is and that I will need to help usher in the next generation of black architects in any way I can.
What are some obstacles you’ve experienced or currently experiencing as a black architect/designer?
Due to the lack of representation, cultural isolation and a lack of commonality has been an occurrence that I’ve dealt with. While it can be a disadvantage in building relationships and, subsequently, potential opportunities, I try not to accept it as an obstacle as acceptance could impair my willingness to continue to network.
However, to my knowledge, I have not experienced many obstacles as a designer/architect that have been much different from colleagues. I have been fortunate to be employed by firms that enriched my professional development along the way.
Should we ignore race in this profession?
If you could give advice to a black student in Architecture school right now, what would it be?
Describe a moment you were at your lowest on your pursuit to licensure and how did you overcome it?
How important is representation?
Representation is paramount. Regarding company culture and equity, a lack of representation can allow for isolation among employees. The lack of commonality can be a disadvantage in connecting with leadership, subsequently, creating paths of advancement to some, while indirectly obstructing others.
In addition, representation presents a diverse experience base and understanding within a company to allow for well vetted and developed solutions to the diverse set of problems that need to be addressed in today’s society.