#MentorMonday: Marc Miller

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: Marc Miller

Hometown: Varies between Central Pa and Upstate NY

What/who sparked your interest in Architecture and Planning and when?

I first developed my interest in design looking at Architectural Digest and Home and Garden drawings at the age of 5.

What does it mean to be a black planner to you? Do you feel that you have more responsibility?

I’m not sure what it means, but I think I have a responsibility to be visible. Representation matters.

 

What are some obstacles you’ve experienced or currently experiencing as a black planner/designer?

I’ve experienced the range of passive micro-aggressions and overt dismissals. 

Should we ignore race in this profession?

If you ignore race, you ignore diversity. If you ignore diversity, you narrow the range of perspective with respect to problems and solutions. Just that one “simple” shift in perspective can open a wealth of revelations and opportunities.

If you could give advice to a black student in Architecture /Urban Planning school right now, what would it be?

Make your position clear. If you are presenting a dissenting o—roach, you’ll need to be very clear and decisive about how you are approaching your argument. I’m not suggesting that you back down, what I am saying is that you need to be prepared to use their base tenets to refute them and lay the ground for your own argument. If you can do that, you’ll be prepared for some many more situations.

Describe a moment you were at your lowest on your pursuit to licensure and how did you overcome it?

I’m not pursuing licensure because it does not align with my interests. Instead I look at my interested and teaching approach as “alternative practice.”

How important is representation?

Architecture has always been grounded in representation as a tool to communicate spatial strategies. There are other disciplines and professions that approach space differently, but representation is an important at part of design and design communication.

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