It’s been a few years since the end of the global recession, and architects are looking ahead to a time when economic opportunities are greater for African Americans.
But the trend isn’t going away, according to the African American Architects and Engineers Association, which says that more African American architects and engineers are now entering the profession.
“I think that this trend has been going on for quite some time, especially in the last year,” said Darién Pang, an architect and professor of architecture at the University of Pittsburgh.
“There is this desire to build for the 21st century, and I think there’s a lot of interest in building in the 21century.”
While the trend is in the works, the trend of African Americans entering the field is nothing new.
The Association for Black Engineers (AFE) released a report last year on the growth of African American and African American-led architectural and engineering firms, and a study released in 2013 by the Institute for Black and African Studies (IBS) shows that black and African Americans are making up more than half of the U.S. workforce.
But this year’s AFE report also showed that the number of African-American architects and engineer is outpacing that of Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other ethnic groups.
Pang, who grew up in Pittsburgh and is African American, said that the current economic situation is a contributing factor in the growth in African American architectural and engineer firms.
“It’s a situation where you can’t go to an employer that has an open door and it’s hard to get into the field,” he said.
“So if you’re not an Asian American or an African American or whatever, there’s not much that you can get into.
It’s just really difficult to get in.”
That lack of access and access to opportunities is a trend that’s made the profession particularly attractive to African Americans in the past, but it’s also caused some challenges for the profession as a whole.
While African American women are the overwhelming majority of all women who choose to pursue an architecture degree, there are still more women than men who pursue engineering degrees.
The profession has been criticized in the United States and internationally for what Pang says is a lack of representation and a lack in inclusion of African and Asian students in the profession, both of which he feels are barriers to the advancement of African students.
“In my experience, there have been a number of issues with Asian and African students being discriminated against and the lack of participation of African student representation in the field of architecture and engineering,” he added.
“It’s been very disappointing.”
Pang said he hopes the upcoming APA conference will highlight the opportunities that African Americans can have in the architecture profession, especially those who aren’t necessarily interested in building for the future.
“The way I see it is that we’re not the only race and ethnicity, but we’re part of a global race that’s making this industry what it is,” he explained.
“That’s really important, and it needs to be reflected in the conference that I’m looking forward to. “