#FutureArchitectFriday: Cordaroe L. Oscar

Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.

Name:

Cordaroe L. Oscar

 

Hometown:

Chicago

 

Educational Status:

UW-Milwaukee Alumni, Degree BSAS

 

How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?

My experience as a Black Architecture student was exciting and eventful. I was so proud to be in Studio to be apart of something that would allow me to flex my creativity and to begin my journey of becoming an Architect! My first day of studio I remember looking at a room of about 90-100 students and being able to count the Black students on two hands. I believe we all shared that moment when looking around. Shortly after claiming our drafting tables it seemed like all of the black students gravitated to each other for a short moment not to isolate ourselves, but to make it a point to introduce ourselves. it was as though we knew we would need each others support to make it through. While my experience as a Black Architecture student was great and beneficial I believe having more Black and Brown professors, students and staff would have enhanced my experience and my education.

Why do you want to get your license?

The reason I want my licence is “simply” to become my own boss and shape architecture with my vision. To be able to create architecture that will be both beneficial and sustainable for our communities. 

 

Biggest inspiration/influence?

My biggest inspiration is the Future, knowing that its unknown yet we’re able to shape it.

How important is representation?

Representation is very important. Growing up I was first exposed to the “movie Architect”, who was always a rich Caucasian male with the fancy house and sports car. When developing interest in architecture that image stuck with me. I noticed on most TV shows/ movies where an architect was represented that was the typical representation of an architect. While the fancy house and sport cars were attractive, I wondered was this a career achievable by someone like me? Up until high school I never heard of a black architect and when I did it was due to my own curiosity and research. After that it wasn’t until college had I met one, which is why I love the level of outreach that happens with different organization around Chicago that introduce students to architecture and other underrepresented careers.

Favorite quote/poem/song/etc.?

My favorite poem is Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins.

At Ruggles Elementary we would recite this poem along with the Pledge and Lift Every Voice and Sing every morning but that poem really stuck with me!

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