Beyond the Built Environment
The role of architects in community life has been rendered largely irrelevant as the profession has historically been, and continues to be, an exclusive resource serving primarily wealthy patrons. Such exclusivity fosters and perpetuates great inequity in the built environment - inequities which more adversely affect communities of color. In 1968, activist Whitney Young sharply rebuked the profession by stating "You are not a profession that has distinguished itself by your social and civic contributions to the cause of civil rights… You are most distinguished by your thunderous silence and your complete irrelevance". My belief is that strong and healthy communities, rich in diversity make strong nations. As architects, we have the power to represent more than ourselves and representation is quintessential to achieving equitable diversity.
Beyond the Built Environment celebrates the contributions of diverse designers and advocates for equitable built environments and communities.
Beyond the Built Environment
Beyond the Built Environment is a non-profit organization founded by Pascale Sablan, an accomplished architect, and activist who is committed to increasing diversity and equity in the field of architecture. The organization seeks to empower women and people of color by providing opportunities for education, mentorship, and professional development.
The organization's mission is to create a more equitable and just built environment by advocating for diversity in the design professions.
Through a variety of initiatives, Beyond the Built Environment aims to provide resources and support to underrepresented individuals in the architecture industry. These initiatives include a traveling exhibition, a mentorship program, and a platform for sharing stories and experiences.
The annual conference, Beyond the Built, is a gathering of professionals in the architecture industry, featuring speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities. The conference provides a platform for diverse voices to be heard, and it helps to build a community of individuals who are committed to creating a more equitable profession.
The mentorship program provides guidance and support to aspiring architects from underrepresented communities. Through the program, mentees are paired with experienced professionals who can offer advice, feedback, and encouragement.
Beyond the Built Environment's online platform provides a space for individuals to share their stories and experiences in the architecture industry. By amplifying diverse voices, the platform helps to create a more inclusive profession.
The work of Beyond the Built Environment is relevant to the betterment of society because the built environment has a profound impact on people's lives. Buildings and public spaces shape our experiences, and they can either support or hinder our well-being. By promoting diversity and equity in the architecture profession, Beyond the Built Environment is working to create spaces that are more inclusive, accessible, and welcoming for all people.
Moreover, by increasing diversity in the profession, Beyond the Built Environment is helping to ensure that the people who design our buildings and public spaces reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. This, in turn, can lead to more culturally sensitive and responsive design that addresses the needs of all people.
Beyond the Built Environment is an essential organization that is working to create a more equitable and just built environment. Through its initiatives, the organization is providing resources, support, and opportunities for underrepresented individuals in the architecture industry. By promoting diversity and equity in the profession, Beyond the Built Environment is helping to create a better world for all people.