#MentorMonday: Andre Johnson, II
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: Andre Johnson, Jr.
Hometown: Columbia, SC
What/who sparked your interest in Architecture and when?
No one has sparked my interest in the field of design or architecture. I am an artist. Since I can remember from a young age I was in love with the idea of creating something then watching it come to life. From my mind to paper then realistically. Since the age of 5 I voiced I will design homes and buildings…I never strayed from my vision.
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?
At my lowest point I was ready to shut the doors to my company AAJ Design and Associates-Holding, LLC. Being concerned that my work was not up to par. That maybe I was not as knowledgeable as I thought I was. Months and years went by as I watched me lose one design bid after another. I did everything I could think of to gain business within my budget of working a 9-5 and creating the firm on the weekends. My turning point was when I watched a job my company had bid on and lost to my competitor in which I use to design for knowing my costs were lower. At this point I knew it had nothing to do with my knowledge but my color. So I decided not to let my color shut me down! When my color is my strength!
How important is representation?
Representation as far as marketing is a need…but what is more important is the representation of your work as in completed work “built work”. This type of representation speaks far more than any marketing tool for us because then your work is undeniable!