Race and the Built Environment: Architecture


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Bell, Carla Jackson. Space Unveiled: Invisible Cultures in the Design Studio, 2014.
Since the early 1800s, African Americans have designed signature buildings; however, in the mainstream marketplace, African American architects, especially women, have remained invisible in architecture history, theory and practice. Traditional architecture design studio education has been based on the historical models of the Beaux-Arts and the Bauhaus, with a split between design and production teaching. As the result of current teaching models, African American architects tend to work on the production or technical side of building rather than in the design studio. It is essential to understand the centrality of culture, gender, space, and knowledge in design studios.

[Subject Headings: Architecture and raceArchitecture and womenArchitectural practice & Social aspectsArchitecture study and teachingAfrican American professional educationProfessional education of women.]

Brown, Adrienne. The Black Skyscraper: Architecture and the Perception of Race, 2017.
With the development of the first skyscrapers in the 1880s, urban built environments could expand vertically as well as horizontally. Tall buildings emerged in growing cities to house and manage the large and racially diverse populations of migrants and immigrants flocking to their centers following Reconstruction. Beginning with Chicago's early 10-story towers and concluding with the 1931 erection of the 102-story Empire State Building, Adrienne Brown's The Black Skyscraper provides a detailed account of how scale and proximity shape our understanding of race. Over the next half-century, as city skylines grew, American writers imagined the new urban backdrop as an obstacle to racial differentiation. 

[...]A highly interdisciplinary work, The Black Skyscraper reclaims the influence of race on modern architectural design as well as the less-well-understood effects these designs had on the experience and perception of race.

[Subject Headings: Architecture and race United States; Skyscrapers Social aspects]

Brown, Adrienne,  and Valerie Smith, editors. Race and Real Estate, 2015.
Race and Real Estate brings together new work by architects, sociologists, legal scholars, and literary critics that qualifies and complicates traditional narratives of race, property, and citizenship in the United States. Rather than simply rehearsing the standard account of how blacks were historically excluded from homeownership, the authors of these essays explore how the raced history of property affects understandings of home and citizenship. While the narrative of race and real estate in America has usually been relayed in terms of institutional subjugation, dispossession, and forced segregation, the essays collected in this volume acknowledge the validity of these histories while presenting new perspectives on this story.

[Subject Headings: Discrimination in housing - United StatesRacismHomeownersSegregationReal property.]

Cheng, Irene, Charles L. Davis II, Mabel O. Wilson, editors. Race and modern architecture : a critical history from the Enlightenment to the present, 2020.
Although race-a concept of human difference that establishes hierarchies of power and domination-has played a critical role in the development of modern architectural discourse and practice since the Enlightenment, its influence on the discipline remains largely underexplored. This volume offers a welcome and long-awaited intervention for the field by shining a spotlight on constructions of race and their impact on architecture and theory in Europe and North America and across various global contexts since the eighteenth century. Challenging us to write race back into architectural history, contributors confront how racial thinking has intimately shaped some of the key concepts of modern architecture and culture over time, including freedom, revolution, character, national and indigenous style, progress, hybridity, climate, representation, and radicalism. By analyzing how architecture has intersected with histories of slavery, colonialism, and inequality-from eighteenth-century neoclassical governmental buildings to present-day housing projects for immigrants-'Race and Modern Architecture' challenges, complicates, and revises the standard association of modern architecture with a universal project of emancipation and progress.

[Subject headings: Architecture, modern; Architecture and society > history; Architecture and Race]

Gooden, Mario. Dark space : architecture, representation, black identity, 2016.

This collection of essays by architect Mario Gooden investigates the construction of African American identity and representation through the medium of architecture. These five texts move between history, theory, and criticism to explore a discourse of critical spatial practice engaged in the constant reshaping of the African Diaspora.

[Subject headings: Architecture and Race > United States; African Americans > Race identity; Architecture and society > United States]

Kaplan, Victoria. Structural Inequality: Black Architects in the United States, 2006.
Architecture is a challenging profession. The education is rigorous and the licensing process lengthy; the industry is volatile and compensation lags behind other professions. All architects make a huge investment to be able to practice, but additional obstacles are placed in the way of women and people of color. Structural Inequality relates this disparity through the stories of twenty black architects from around the United States and examines the sociological context of architectural practice. Through these experiences, research, and observation, Victoria Kaplan explores the role systemic racism plays in an occupation commonly referred to as the 'white gentlemen's profession.' Given the shifting demographics of the United States, Kaplan demonstrates that it is incumbent on the profession to act now to create a multicultural field of practitioners who mirror the changing client base. Structural Inequality provides the context to inform and facilitate the necessary conversation on increasing diversity in architecture.

[Subject Heading: African American architects]

Kaufman, Ned. Place, Race, and Story: Essays on the Past and Future of Historic Preservation, 2009.
In Place, Race, and Story, author Ned Kaufman has collected his own work dedicated to the proposition of giving the next generation of preservationists not only a foundational knowledge of the field of study, but more ideas on where they can take it. Through both big-picture essays considering preservation across time, and descriptions of work on specific sites, the essays in this collection trace the themes of place, race, and story in ways that raise questions, stimulate discussion, and offer a different perspective on these common ideas. Including unpublished essays as well as established.

[Subject Headings: Historic buildings & Conservation and restoration in the United StatesHistoric preservation > United StatesHistoric sites & Conservation and restoration in the United States]

Kiddle, Rebecca. Our voices : indigeneity and architecture, 2018.

This book is an exciting advance in the field of architecture, offering multiple indigenous perspectives on architecture and design theory and practice. Indigenous authors from Aotearoa NZ, Canada, Australia and the USA explore the making and keeping of places and spaces which are informed by indigenous values and identities. The lack of publications to date offering an indigenous lens on the field of architecture belies the rich expertise found in indigenous communities in all four countries. This expertise is made richer by the fact that this indigenous expertise combines both architecture and design professional practice, that for the most part is informed by Western thought and practice, with a frame of reference that roots this architecture in the indigenous places in which it sits.

[Subject headings: Architecture and anthropology; Architecture > themes, motives; Indigenous peoples; Architecture and raceArchitecture and society; Ethnic architecture]

Richards, William. Revolt and Reform in Architecture’s Academy: Urban Renewal, Race, and the Rise of Design in the Public Interest, 2017.
Revolt and Reform in Architecture's Academy' uniquely addresses the complicated relationship between architectural education and urban renewal in the 1960s, which paved the way for what is today known as public interest design. Through an examination of curricular reforms at Columbia University's and Yale University's schools of architecture in the 1960s, this book translates the "urban crisis" through the experiences of two influential groups of architecture students, as well as their contributions to design's lexicon. The book argues that urban renewal and campus expansion half a century ago recast architectural education at two schools whose host cities, New York and New Haven, were critical sites for political, social, and urban upheaval in America. The urban challenges of that time are the same challenges rapidly growing cities face today-access, equity, housing, and services. As architects, architects in training, and architecture students continue to wrestle with questions surrounding how design may serve a broadly defined public interest, this book is a timely assessment of the forces that have shaped the debate.

[Subject headings: Urban renewal > New York (State) > New York > History > 20th century]

Wilkins, Craig L. Diversity among architects: from margin to center, 2016.

Diversity among Architects presents a series of essays questioning the homogeneity of architecture practitioners, who remain overwhelmingly male and Caucasian, to help you create a field more representative of the population you serve. The book is the collected work of author Craig L. Wilkins, an African American scholar, and practitioner, and discusses music, education, urban geography, social justice, community design centers, race-space identity, shared landscape, and many more topics.

[Subject headings: Architectural practice > social aspects; Architecture and race; Architecture and women]