#FutureArchitectFriday: Ryan Smith

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

Name: Ryan E. Smith

Hometown: Bowie, MD – Currently residing in Charlotte, NC

Educational Status: Master of Architecture from UNC Charlotte (c/o 2019), and BS in Psychology from Bethune-Cookman University (c/o 2013)

How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student? Interesting. Lots of positive affirmation from professors. Frequent micro-aggressions from peers, but I also made some really great friends! I would have loved to see more diversity in our precedent studies.

Why do you want to get your licensed? Because it puts me in a better position to mentor other black women who are taking a similar path toward architecture as mine. Getting my license will not only be fulfillment of my formal education, but an opportunity to take greater control of my career with an elite group of black women architects.

Biggest inspiration/influence? My family and fiancé and close friends. Endless love and support, and the occasional kick in the butt to get back up and keep fighting.

How important is representation? Incredibly important! To know that someone who you identify with has done work that work that matters within and beyond your own community is so impactful. Seeing someone who you believes represents you (by gender, race/ethnicity, culture, economic background, etc) can inspire you to move forward with an idea; you have to have a vision of what you’re looking for to work toward it.

Favorite quote/poem/song/etc.? “Be inspired. Be inspiring.” Currently my favorite poem is “Seriously” by Ruth Carter. I originally saw her on an episode of Abstract (Netflix) and I added it to my tool box. It’s a poem about personal development and confidence in a world where we are not always encouraged to excel.

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