#FutureArchitectFriday: Tunmi Da Silva
Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.
Tunmi Da Silva
How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?
It was…challenging. I often found that after the 5th museum or train station design that I wanted to address more pressing issues within my community through architecture. I wanted to design alternative healing centers, rehabilitation centers, community centers, alternative developments in urban areas, etc, but I didn’t have the language to 1) describe the importance of these spaces within my communities and 2) my professors also didn’t have the language and didn’t see the value in spatial justice. Selling my professors on the importance of spatial justice was, in my opinion, an unnecessary barrier to my education. There was very little room for the exploration of spatial justice, specifically for Black people, within my program.
Why do you want to get your license?
After going through the program and realizing how little room there was for the exploration and actual implementation of spatial justice design on a large scale…really just facing the reality of getting any justice period…I decided to put a hold on getting my license. Still haven’t decided if I’m going for it or not, but since I went to an accredited program the option is always available.
How important is representation?
Representation is cool. Structural, systemic change is even better. Sure, growing up I wish more people who look like me were more visible in their fields and that I could’ve seen myself in them growing up, but even more so I wish systemic barriers and their social adoption, over many many decades, didn’t exist. Representation is a symptom the systemic and structural barrier is the cause.
“The light of the sun knows no boundaries.” I don’t know if someone has said it before, but I thought of it one day and have a tattoo of it lol.