#FutureArchitectFriday: Kendrick Perkins
Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.
Name: Kendrick Perkins
Hometown: Austin, TX
Bachelor’s Degree: Architecture-University of Houston. (Gerald D. Hines School of
Minor: Africana Studies
How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?
During my time as an Architecture student, to me was a unique challenge for sure. I
self-battled with being 1 of 2 black students in my whole yr. and felt self-acclaimed
pressure to do good work for myself as well as represent for all other black men coming
after me. Nobody told me to do that, for whatever reason, it was just a inner feeling I
had all 5 yrs. However, the Hines’ school of Architecture represented what the city of
Houston to me is. A metropolitan gumbo pot of intermingled cultures, I have met friends
and students, I have met anywhere from Lebanon, Taiwan, Ecuador, Mexico, Greece
etc.…From my early understanding of Architecture being an Elitist practice in the past, I
assumed majority would be of European decent (majority of professors were though.)
Hanging out, learning and working alongside people from other cultures outside of the
pre-conceived American notions shines a light on commonalties and differences we
have as people. While I enjoyed the knowledge of Corbusier, Eames, Ando, Mies, Zaha,
Tschumi, Lloyd Wright, Gehry etc…I did have an issue that there were not any History
courses offered on Architecture that stems from Africa in solely, aside from learning
about the Pyramids of Giza briefly in a Survey Course which I enjoyed but not enough.
However, what about the Paul Revere, Willams, William Sydney Pittman, Norma
Merrick Sklarek, Georgia Louise Harris Brown, Robert Robinson Taylor, Julian Abele
and a gang of others that have contributed to the built environment that. It was not until I
began working on a term paper in an Africana Studies course in 2015 that these names
and others were discovered. I began Architecture school in 2013.
Why do you want to get your licensed?
The goal to get Licensed is not only to be a part of the 1.5% of all registered African
American Architects in the U.S. but also for more freedom to work for self. Ultimately
owning a small/medium scale firm that designs affordable housing for people across all
spectrums. With my interest and skill sets continually growing, I believe God has
directed my path toward assisting others while using creative measures to solve issues
and bring a concept to life. What could be more rewarding??
Tupac, LeBron James, Mom. Keeping it short, for what they stand/stood for. Their love
and dedication toward their craft. Knowledge and respect of the game. The love for their
mothers. Their story/challenges of how they arrived to their platforms that have an
influence on the culture and or society. How they carry themselves as men (though
nobody is perfect.)
A good mother’s love and care carries over and after a lifetime.
How important is representation?
Representation to me in highly important for men and women in across all ethnicities
and cultures. Constantly seeing visuals of a particular group of people involved in
negative or positive actions or accomplishments shapes the mind of each individual
differently on their views of others. Stemming from weather stereotyping or some
preconceived notion due to what they hear or see for years.
If I am a King, but never told or shown of my lineage of Kingsman that I come from, but
instead shown I am nothing but scum, more than often I will believe that or move around
as such. If I and those that look like me are hardly celebrated in the spaces that we
operate under, generally less motivated thoughts generate more often than positive
The Messiah or Christ, being depicted with Eurocentric Phenotypes for thousands of
years is a touchy yet great example. In the book of Revelations in the Bible it states that
“his head and hair white like wool, eyes of fire. Feet like unto fine brass as if they
burned in a furnace.”-Rev 1:14-15. If one understands geography that Christ also was
born and grew up in the Middle Eastern Region which then and today majority are
people of color, yet the modern-day depiction is a white male. Though this is a layered
example, it shows that the contradictory representation vs what is written vs what is
To the young women that hardly ever see women in a position of power or a super hero
or the leader of a Nation growing up, that’s another example as well. Psychologically
that can have either a negative or positive impact to build the motive and courage to
work to reach those places that are vert much attainable. However, if they are never
shown what could be, their imagination dies and is more of a challenge to lean on
attainability of what she wants. I do believe and witness a slow shift in more
representation of people of color in Professional and Leadership spaces are occurring
but we still have a way to go.
“Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice. I say the darker the flesh, then
the deeper the roots.”-Tupac Shakur
“For every home is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.”- Hebrews