LAKEISHA BYRD

Communion

SAY IT LOUD - Pennsylvania Exhibitor

Pennsylvania Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Faith and Humanity. Both are essential in what I profess (through architecture). Architecture has the power to inspire how we see ourselves, engage with others, and experience life. Architecture is the difference for a more (or less) humane world.

LAKEISHA BYRD

Bio:

Lakeisha Byrd is the founder of Communion LLC — a Pittsburgh-based architectural design development studio. Lakeisha has master’s degrees in architecture (Hampton University) and real estate development (Georgetown University). She has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2016 Fab40 award recipient recognizing Pittsburgh’s African American men and women under 40 who are helping to change communities for the better.

How did you first learn about architecture and when did you decide that built environment profession was an area of interest for you?

In high school, I sought inspiration across town where my museum studies’ exhibition design class introduced me to the fine art of architecture. These early inklings inspired me to change the built environment around me rather than leave it behind.

What do you do?

In 2015, Lakeisha founded Communion LLC to promote architectural interventions at the neighborhood-scale, and has contributed to communal, cultural, commercial, residential, and urban design projects in Pittsburgh.

What excites you in the work you do?

My work is found at the intersection of architecture and development. This intersection is particularly exciting because the creative discipline of architecture is woven into the development process through Visioning and Programming.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Faith and Humanity. Both are essential in what I profess (through architecture). Architecture has the power to inspire how we see ourselves, engage with others, and experience life. Architecture is the difference for a more (or less) humane world.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

During architecture school, my peers honored me with the 2011 Tau Sigma Delta Bronze Metal Award for Distinction In Design. Both the nomination and award truly expressed how meaningful architecture had become as my chosen profession.

Featured Project Name: 

I-579 CAP Park

 

Featured Project Location: 

Lower Hill District, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Featured Project Completion Date: 

2022

Role in Featured Project: 

Design Consultant

 

Featured Project Description:

I-579 “Cap” spans over a portion of I-579 with improvements to an adjacent intersection and underutilized vacant land. A pedestrian bridge re-establishing physical links between downtown and the Hill District, the CAP features a 3-acre public park with historical markers, African American cultural illustrations, amphitheater/stage, recreation lawns, embedded design enhancements by artists, rain gardens, and other amenities. Communion designed the braided/beaded totem poles and sitting wall.

Photography Credit:

Courtesy of Communion, LaQuatra Bonci Associates, and the Sports & Exhibition Authority

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