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MELANIE RAY

Hord Coplan Macht

SAY IT LOUD - MARYLAND Exhibitor

Maryland Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Seeing other designers who look like me is my inspiration. It’s important to not only see myself in firm principals, leaders, and owners, but also in the future of the profession through students. That is what keeps me motivated in this profession.

MELANIE RAY

Bio:

The great architect, Melanie is an Associate in the Housing & Mixed-Use studio at Hord Coplan Macht in Baltimore, MD. As a 2015 graduate of Penn State, she has worked on various mixed-use and affordable housing projects, as well as community development projects in Baltimore city and beyond. She is the 424th living black woman licensed in the US and seeks to be an active mentor to others. She is currently pursuing her Master of Professional Studies in Community and Economic Development at Penn State.

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

My father is an architect with his own practice and even had a studio in our basement, so I had a very early introduction to the practice. However, it was not until high school that I took my first drafting class and decided this would be my career.

What do you do?

In addition to my work at HCM, I am an advocate for diversifying the profession through my work with NOMA and the AIA. I also enjoy working on pro bono projects with organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the Neighborhood Design Center.

What excites you in the work you do?

Architects are problem-solvers, and that is what excites me about this profession. Whether it’s figuring out a difficult construction detail or finding opportunities for communities to engage in the planning process, I love working through issues.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Seeing other designers who look like me is my inspiration. It’s important to not only see myself in firm principals, leaders, and owners, but also in the future of the profession through students. That is what keeps me motivated in this profession.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

I am most proud of achieving licensure just 3 years out of school. Knowing that life becomes busier and more complex as the year’s go on, it was extremely important to me to reach this milestone early and allow maximum flexibility in my career.

Featured Project Name: 

Johnston Square Master Plan

 

Featured Project Location: 

MD

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

February 2020

Role in Featured Project: 

Project Architect

 

Featured Project Description:

The Johnston Square 2020 Vision Plan provides a roadmap for equitable reinvestment in a historic urban neighborhood. The inclusive and collaborative planning process initiated by Johnston Square Partners crafted a shared neighborhood vision to guide community improvements. The plan creates a safe, walkable neighborhood complete with diverse housing choices for all supported by thriving businesses, supportive services and areas of community gathering.

Photography Credit:

Hord Coplan Macht