Part of our 2021 Black History Month series “9 Designers Reflect on the Past, Present & Future of Black History in Architecture”
Architectural designer Kennedy Carter joined ZGF in Washington D.C. last year, and here considers how the Black Lives Matter movement is influencing her way forward as an architect.
After 2020, I’m looking at the world and my future differently. When I graduated from Howard University two years ago, I was both inspired and discouraged. Howard has produced so many great designers, but it can be disheartening when you hear there are so few licensed Black architects. The Black Lives Matter movement has inspired me to get back on track to licensure to make sure there are is greater Black—and Black female—representation in the industry. When I was a kid, I never knew any architects and I wasn’t exposed to architecture as a career. I am motivated now to expose the younger generation to my profession, but more broadly to encourage them to stick to their passions. When we think about the future, there’s so much that is possible and many careers of the future haven’t yet been invented. Things we never imagined possible are about to become reality. The next generation is going to be so big in terms of their ideas and their impact, and architecture needs the next generation because we’re not going to stop building and creating spaces. We need new, young voices at the table to spark that innovation and help us push the world forward. When I think about my personal career goals, I don’t have a rigid 10-year plan. I want to remain open to exploration and for my path to stay fluid. That’s the beauty of it: I know I’m going to make a difference wherever I am.
Read more stories from this series here.