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Local Architects Aim to Bring Diversity to the Industry

blog-10-15-2Over the years, the U.S. has produced few African American architects. Noticing the lack of diversity, architect and co-owner of MC Harry & Associates, Craig Aquart, launched Black Architects in the Making to introduce African American youth to the field.

CBS 4 News visited Aquart’s firm to learn more about BAM and meet the students.

Craig Aquart is a veteran architect and co-owner of M C Harry & Associates headquartered in Miami.

Even though he has dozens of projects in development, he is on a mission to spread what he calls the gospel of Architecture.

CBS4 recently visited Aquart while he and his staff hosted a group of students from the community to expose them to various career opportunities in the field.

“I did some research and found out that of the 113-thousand registered architects in the United States, less than two-thousand architects were actually black and the statistics were even worse when you look at black females. There were only 430 in the field. I realized there was a disparity there and one of the reasons for that is the awareness in the black community is severely lacking,” said Aquart.

In response, Aquart created BAM, which stands for Black Architects in the Making with the support of the Miami Center for Architecture & Design (MCAD).

For the last two years he and his staff have hosted workshops for students in Overtown, Liberty City and Richmond Heights just to name a few.

“We encourage students to sketch regularly, and like everything else practice makes perfect,” said Aquart. He advises students to at least sketch one image per day.

Aquart says BAM has reached more than 300 students in two years.

To read more, visit CBS4 here.

 

MCAD’s BAM Sparks Interest in Architecture in African-American Students

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Of the 105,000 registered architects in the U.S., less than two percent are African Americans. In an effort to increase their representation in the industry, architect Craig Aquart of M.C. Harry and Associates created Black Architects in the Making.

BAM is a hands-on educational workshop focused on educating students, primarily African-American, on the architectural profession, and is supported by the Miami Center for Architecture and Design and the American Institute of Architects Miami chapter.

The definition of an architect is “a person who designs buildings and advises in their construction.”

So, it makes sense that the American Institute of Architects Miami Chapter would help build a program that focuses on educating middle and high school students, primarily African American, on the architecture profession.

The U.S. has produced very few African-American architects. According to the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, of the 109,748 registered architects in a 2016 survey, only 2 percent are African Americans.

In an effort to increase that representation, Miami architect Craig Aquart of M C Harry & Associates created Black Architects in the Making to join the already established Architects in the Making program. The American Institute of Architects Miami Chapter supports both.

“BAM is a seed planting program that we must continue in more communities to diversify the architectural profession,” Aquart said in an email. “Students who knew little or nothing about architecture and the role it plays in their communities, now understand that their involvement in building better communities is essential to their well-being.”

Since its inception in 2015, Black Architects in the Making has designed more than 21 workshops led by African-American professionals. The efforts have reached over 300 students in Overtown, Liberty City, Richmond Heights and Homestead.

To read the full story, visit the Miami Herald.