#MentorMonday: Santasha Hart, RA, LEED Green Associate
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: Santasha Hart
Hometown: Daytona Beach
What/who sparked your interest in Architecture and when?
My aunt. She suggested I look into a career in architecture my 10th grade year because she felt as though it aligned with many of my interests and hobbies. I played The Sims a lot between the 7th and 10th grade, but found more interest in the house building aspect than the actual game play. I often made things out of whatever I could find around the house that wouldn’t melt from being hot glued. Then lastly I really liked to draw at the time, mostly people and cartoons etc. but I guess between graphic design and architecture…architecture won out.
What does it mean to be a black architect/ urban designer to you? Do you feel that you have more responsibility?
What are some obstacles you’ve experienced or currently experiencing as a black architect/ urban designer?
Should we ignore race in this profession?
If you could give advice to a black student in Architecture /Urban Planning school right now, what would it be?
Describe a moment you were at your lowest on your pursuit to licensure and how did you overcome it?
When I was taking my very last architectural exam…it was rough lol. I had flown through the first 6 exams within about 8 months but for a few reasons the very last one I needed to pass to be done with it all was giving me a run for my money. I ended up having to take that singular exam 4 times before I passed it, and the very last time I took it (if I hadn’t passed) I would have had to transition to the new version of the test (4.0 was phasing out and they were introducing 5.0) and redo more than half of the ones I already passed! In hindsight this experience is laughable now, especially because I ended up getting my license only 2 years after graduating with my Masters Degree… but at the time it was AWFUL.
How important is representation?
Extremely important – representation is almost synonymous with exposure. For many people, it’s hard to imagine what you can do or what you can be without having seen it. Representation in every field, industry, and media sector is an important part of taking that .3% of black female architects and expanding it greatly.