#FutureArchitectFriday: Kirk Dixon, Jr.
Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.
Kirk Dixon, Jr.
Graduate with a Master of Architecture Degree
How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?
My experience was challenging. I started the M.Arch program at an HBCU and finished at a PWI. It was great to be at the HBCU where I felt support on a broad scale. Seeing other black people with an interest in Architecture felt like home, especially after attending a PWI studying Industrial Technology in undergrad. The school of Architecture was really small but effective and well ranked. The problem was that the HBCU curse of lacking financial aid got me. I completed a Fall and spring semester and mysteriously lost financial aid during my first summer semester. I stayed in the city for 3 more years working (two full time jobs sometimes) to repay my balance and return to school. After unsuccessfully fighting to pay back thousands of dollars to finish my degree, I applied and was accepted to a PWI in my hometown. I was able to finish my 3 year program but without the feeling of home. I was often the only black student in my class. One of the other black students had to leave school our first semester because he needed to work more than he needed to finish the degree. When other students gathered to study together and lend each other study guides, I was often left out. I fought by myself. But I made it. And that is only half the story.
Why do you want to get your license?
2%. Black people represent 2% of the Architectural profession. I need to be in that number. I need to grow that number.
Honestly, God is my biggest influence. I’m still learning to let him lead and to ask for guidance in all situations but he governs my decisions and my life in general.
How important is representation?
I feel representation is extremely important. There is a large community of artists that give up on their creative talents because they’re told they can’t make a career out of them. They change their majors to business and communications because no one tells them that Architecture and Art go hand in hand. Representation will give them examples of what can be accomplished and how.
“A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” Proverbs 18:16