6 Pioneering Architects from Minority Serving Institutions

by Carol Sandoval

Architecture: it’s an art and a science. It is vital to the physical environment we live in. Its’ an expression of the society and technological progress. It represents society values, desires, ideologies, and ideals. It considers functional needs, comfortableness, and practicality. For these reasons, architects have a huge societal responsibility. They are required to consider environmental impacts, cost analysis and land-use in their designs. Today’s MSI Line Up features six incredible architects that attended an MSI.

1) John Chase—Hampton University (HBCU)

As the first licensed African-American architect to practice in Texas, John Chase was one of the cofounders of the National Association of Minority Architects.  He became one of Texas’s leading modernist architects. His projects included the Riverside National Bank and a U.S. Embassy commission in Tunisia.

2) Paul Revere Williams—University of Southern California (AANAPISI)

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Paul Revere Williams designed more than 2,500 buildings. His projects include the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport, showy celebrity homes, and an extension to the Beverly Hills Hotel. He became the first African American awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal.

3) Cruz Garcia—University of Puerto Rico (HSI)

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Cruz Garcia, a Puerto Rican architect and founder of WAI Think Tank, received his master’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico. His projects are featured in global cities including Beijing, London, Buenos Aires, and New York. In a project based closer to home, Garcia addresses the future of Puerto Rico and the island’s infrastructure after the devastating effects of Hurricane Maria.

 

4) Ralph Hawkins—The University of Texas at Arlington (AANAPISI)

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University of Texas alum Ralph Hawkins honors his alma mater by generously donating to the School of Architecture. Now the CEO of HKS Inc., his projects include the Cowboys Stadium and the certified LEED Gold in sustainability College Park Center.

5) Bashirul HaqUniversity of New Mexico-Main Campus (HSI)

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Bashirul Haq received his master’s degree from the University of New Mexico. His architectural style is celebrated for holding cultural roots, respecting local context, urban sustainability and the use of natural light and air. His designed buildings are characterized by extensive use of tactile materials such as hand made brick, rough concrete and natural woods.

6) Neil Denari—University of Houston (AANAPISI)

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Neil Denari, CEO of Neil M. Denari Architects, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston. After obtaining his master’s, his work was mainly self-generated projects presented in numerous exhibitions. He is now a tenured professor at UCLA and visiting professor at many other universities including the University of Texas at Arlington.

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