Part of our 2021 Black History Month series “9 Designers Reflect on the Past, Present & Future of Black History in Architecture”
Nicole Dodier, an interior designer who’s been with ZGF for two years in our Portland office, sends a message to all Black architects and designers who are just embarking on their career.
To all the black students sitting in architectural history class wondering why the works of their ancestors are not reflected on the pages they read, I see you. To all the black designers who were the one or two in your graduating class, and now are amongst the few in your firm, I see you. To all the black designers who once sat in conference rooms (now Zoom calls) filled with so many people that don’t look like you that you feel uncomfortable, I see you.
For far too long the design that we experience every day has been shaped through a narrow lens, created by those who do not reflect the diversity of the world we live in. So quite frankly, we need you. In the moments when imposter syndrome begins to creep in and you find yourself second guessing your instincts because they don’t align with everyone else’s in the room, remember that your thoughts and opinions are valid too. Your ideas matter. Your voice matters. Your presence matters. You matter. Be your most authentic self. Don’t minimize your presence to make others feel comfortable.
Read more stories from this series here.