#MentorMonday: Maya Bird-Murphy
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: Maya Bird-Murphy
Hometown: Oak Park, IL
What/who sparked your interest in Architecture and when?
I wasn’t interested in architecture probably until high school, but there’s a good chance I was subconsciously thinking about architecture as a career because of my upbringing in Oak Park. Frank Lloyd Wright was a hot topic and we often went on field trips to his projects.
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?
I worked at a firm for a couple of years where I was mistreated. I was at my lowest point emotionally. Instead of giving up on licensure or on the field itself I decided that I needed to make a change in my own life. I started my Master of Architecture online which led to my thesis project which became my nonprofit.
How important is representation?
Representation is important but it’s only the start. Representation piques interest. Once that interest is piqued there needs to be guidance and support all the way through the process.