#FutureArchitectFriday: Jazmin House
Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.
Jazmin Coco House
Tennessee State University
B.S. Fashion Merchandise
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Masters of Architecture
How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?
My experience as a black architecture student has been both rewarding and emotionally draining. Since I arrived I’ve dealt with racism, colorism, and microaggressions. Which is nothing new but it’s literally everyday on this campus. I graduated from an HBCU so it was a total culture shock. But I used these experiences to shape my designs. For instance, after hearing microaggressions from one of my professors about my afro, I decided to design a boutique hotel that conceptualized the Black American experience. So the entire building was made of concrete which represented brutality, the ceilings were recessed drastically to feel trapped, there were cantilevered balconies on every floor that allowed everyone to see the same thing but from a different perspective. Each balcony had a type of studio like dance, music, fitness, art, etc; which was a reflection of how black people try get away from oppression and negativity. There was also a soul food restaurant that was meant to bring together the community. Finally the facade resembled a 3D braid pattern to address appropriation.
Once I presented this project, of course some people were speechless BUT it opened a conversation in the end which alot of people appreciated and the few black students in the school were as proud as I was to make a statement as such. “Controversial but Conversational” So I’ve learned to step out of my comfort zone and take risk in my designs. Because of it, I can be unapologetically activistic and create a way for people to acknowledge, experience, and understand racial, cultural, and gender issues in society. So if your not taking those risk then why are you designing in the first place?
Why do you want to get your license?
I want to get my license because there’s simply not enough black architects that are. We need more black doctors, black dentists, black lawyers, black professors…… more black everything.
My biggest influence is me being black and being a woman.
My biggest inspiration is making a difference.
How important is representation?
Representation is important so that we know that our voices are being heard, our experiences are being acknowledged, and us as a community matter.