#FutureArchitectFriday: Bernute Augustin
Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.
Senior (5th Year Architecture Student)
How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?
At the University of Miami, I’ve learned many things, not just about architecture but the people I surround myself with. With the way I’ve been raised and the different educational experiences I’ve had throughout my life, I’ve been taught to learn with a broader lense. The answers and the things I want are not going to be given to me on a silver plater as it is for other people and unfortunately it just how things are. I can’t say this about other Universities but at UM there isn’t much, dare I say nothing, being taught about Black Architecture.
Therefore, I do a lot of solo research when it comes to topics I want to learn about, Haitian Architects and Architecture, Famous Black Architects in my community, and a lot of the physical resources offered are little and you have to dig deep to find. Which overall is really disappointing as a black student wanting to succeed in a profession where you see a shortage of black architects.
However, on a more positive note, I can say that the University does help in trying to help you locate these resources. What I love is that when you have a lot of black students who are aware that they are in an environment that isn’t theirs they band together making this brotherhood and sisterhood amongst each other and the Black staff and faculty are apart of that as well. So having that did make my experience much better than I expected it to be.
Why do you want to get your license?
Mainly because it is a goal of mine since thinking of architecture as a career. There is a shortage of black architects in this field. I like to consider myself as an endangered species. I’m a woman, a black woman, a Haitian woman. So to get my license would be a grand accomplishment for me, my family, and the culture.
My Parents and Family. If I do anything I do it with them in mind, my parents came to this country from Haiti with nothing and they did it all by themselves. I’m the youngest of the seven children my parents have. There is an Engineer, 3 Registered Nurses, a PhD candidate and Head IT Tech for Miami-Dade County. My Parents raised all these kids to be amazing successful people and don’t ask anything of us but to be the best because they know we can.
How important is representation?
Highly. How you represent yourself is how people view you. First impressions are key and when you walk into a new environment with your head held up, looking right and put together, you demand a certain amount of respect without even opening your mouth. Like it or not, people first judge you based on what they see and if you got it together they have no choice but to treat you with respect because you gave them no reason not to.