#FutureArchitectFriday: Erica Patrice Grant
Hi readers! It’s #FutureArchitectFriday. A day to celebrate those pushing themselves to becoming licensed architects.
Name: Erica Patrice Grant
Hometown: Nassau, Bahamas
Educational Status: 1st-year, M.Arch student
How would you describe your experience as a Black Architecture student?
At first a bit lonely as I was one of two black female architecture students, but I adjusted well and became more involved, and was elected as the first Afro-Caribbean senator to represent the college of architecture. Overall, I would say being a black female architecture student made me motivated to change the perspective of diversity and equity in architecture.
Why do you want to get your licensed?
Firstly, I want to get my license because of the low percentage of African American architects worldwide. “African American architects represent about 2% of all licensed architects, and out of that 2%, African American women represent approximately 0.3%.” These statistics show the lack of diversity within the field of architecture. I, therefore, want to be the catalyst that sparks change and leaves behind a blueprint for young women in architecture.
Secondly, because my little brother was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of three, I feel that architecture should be designed to accommodate those with disabilities. Therefore, my passion is to create a comfortable and smart environment for people with physical and mental disabilities.
My biggest inspiration is my little brother. Watching him navigate through architecture that was not designed to create a safe space for him influence me to advocate, volunteer, and help design spaces for those diagnosed with mental and physical disabilities. Providing environments for disabled adults and kids to maneuver through buildings will bring forth a more sensitive and inclusive design.
How important is representation?
On a scale from 1-10, Representation is 10. It motivates students and gives us a safe space to discuss problems within our educational environment. Representation in architecture also acts as a constant reminder that what we are studying to achieve is possible.
“When you’re told you’re not good enough, you tell them, not only am I good enough, I am more than good enough.
When they say send her back home, you tell them I am home. I am the foundation of what you call home.
When they tell you that you’re angry or nasty, you tell them that they’re mistaken.
This is me. This is me being resolute and standing firmly in my truth.
And when they say you’re not beautiful, you tell them that you are the descendant of royalty.
Remember that our voices, the same power that we hold individually, and all of us collectively, it does matter.
Now is not the time to be silent.
Find your purpose, pursue it relentlessly, passionately, and loudly.
Be persistent and win.”
— Angela Bassett