Part of our 2021 Black History Month series “9 Designers Reflect on the Past, Present & Future of Black History in Architecture”
Architectural designer Zachariah Petett has been with our Portland office since 2019. He expresses the struggles he faces as a Black professional and the rewarding nature of overcoming these challenges to create change.
Being Black in architecture is no different, one imagines, from being Black in any other profession. Meaning that you must do more for the same recognition and opportunities as your peers. This is not news to my Black colleagues, present or future. What may be new to some is the idea, as I believe, that we are also tasked with greater responsibility. Change, redress, liberation – these things will not be granted. They must be fought for. That is the responsibility of anyone with privilege – and a career in architecture is a privilege – but we, especially, with our particular perspective, are called to be more radical, more insistent on change. The work is often grueling and the rewards distant, but I believe that it can be worth it, if one embraces this struggle.
Read more stories from this series here.