Architecture historian highlights women architects

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Architect Dina Griffin was featured at the Women of Architecture lecture Jan.18. Courtesy

African-American architecture has made an impact throughout history, historian says.

By Emily Garcia

egarcia1009@student.alamo.edu

Architecture is a constant stage set in everyday life, architecture historian Carolyn Armenta Davis said at the Women of Architecture lecture Jan.18.

Women of Architecture partnered with Dream Week, an organization dedicated to honoring the teachings of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to bring Davis to this school to speak to students about the prominence of African-American architects around the world.

This is Davis’ first visit to San Antonio.

Davis is an international architecture historian, lecturer, curator and writer of contemporary African Diaspora architects.

She lectures across the nation about how African-Americans have left an impact in the world of architecture.

Davis became interested in architecture as a child because her father was a real estate agent.

Davis spoke of Dina Griffin, a female African-American architect.

Griffin had the honor to work with former First Lady Michele Obama to redesign the presidential library, Davis said.

Roberta Washington is in one of the most successful architectural firms in New York City, Davis said.

“One of Roberta’s projects was renovating old buildings and turning them into safe shelters for the homeless,” she said.

Tania Concko is an award-winning female architect who focuses on affordable housing for the less fortunate, Davis said.

Tania has won Women in Architecture awards and is one of the leading female African-American architects in Europe, Davis said.

“It is important to understand the difference between architecture in America and architecture it Africa,” Davis said. “In America, being a black architect you are a minority, but in Africa you are the majority.”

Davis hopes her lectures will inspire African-American men and women interested in architecture to not give up on their dreams.

“I think this lecture is very beneficial because the speakers we have don’t just talk about their life, but they talk about how the project represents their life story,” architect sophomore Tiffany Smith said.

The Women of Architecture is a component of the San Antonio chapter of American Institute of Architects.

“Women of Architecture formed to support women in the field of architecture, including women in construction, engineering, and interior design,” said Women in Architecture member Mary Minor.

The organization supports women architects by promoting their work, assisting with finding resources and contacts and offering mentorships.

Women interested in Women of Architecture can contact co-chair Marry Ann Mitchell at marryann@mitchelDg.org.

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