#MentorMonday: Karl Amadi Griffin

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. The opinions and views expressed do not reflect those of America’s Hidden Gem(TM). They are exclusively opinions of those by whom they’re shared.


Karl Amadi Griffin


Washington D.C.

What/who sparked your interest in Architecture and when?

My 7th grade art class was assigned to design our “dream home” inside and out. I took to the project with passion and my piece sold in the art show.

What does it mean to be a black architect/ designer to you? Do you feel that you have more responsibility?

I feel I carry an important torch in my community and its to encourage interest in the field. I’m also responsible for being a catalyst for motivation to achieve.

What are some obstacles you’ve experienced or currently experiencing as a black architect/ designer?

Not being taken seriously until I prove my advanced ability opposed to being an assumed asset in project completion.

Should we ignore race in this profession?

Of course, I believe that  in business the only color that should matter is green.

If you could give advice to a black student in Architecture school right now, what would it be?

Take architecture to heart and learn all you can so that you can best leverage yourself in the field. Create, Explore, Expand. Don’t Quit.

Describe a moment you were at your lowest on your pursuit to licensure and how did you overcome it?

When unemployed it was difficult to land a position in a firm in my area. I enhanced my portfolio and sent it to a few associates: engineers, developers, property managers. I landed a few gigs as design consultant and was able to partner with a lead architect to continue accumulating hours and revenue. 

How important is representation?

Representation is vital in business. With people of different genders, nationalities, religions, viewpoints, etc. you have a broader scope of ideas which will drive growth.

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