TIARA HUGHES

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

FIRST 500

SAY IT LOUD - A'19 Exhibitor

SAY IT LOUD - Illinois Exhibitor

Illinois Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

When it comes to paving the way, standing by her truths, and delivering audacious, new typologies to our industry. Zaha Hadid serves my idol. As the first minority woman awarded the Pritzker in 2004 – Zaha conquered all. She lives on through wo(me)n.

TIARA HUGHES

Bio:

Becoming the Founder and Executive Director of FIRST 500 in 2018 is a great example of how I saw a hole in information about a group of architects I relate to – black women who are .3% of all licensed architects and created my own initiative to provide resources about them. In addition to highlighting this group of architects, this initiative raises awareness about their distinction. In doing so, my goal is to infinitely increase the number of African American women licensed architects in the U.S.

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

My story is a bit clique because I was first inspired by the built environment in my gifted arts program during 3rd grader. After having a natural talent for drawing buildings and being exposed to blueprints for the first time, I have aspired to become an architect ever since.

What do you do?

In addition to my roles as Executive Director, and a Chicago broker, I also currently serves as a Senior Urban Designer for SOM which enables me to focus on the overarching concepts of complex problems that have an impact on a much larger scale.

What excites you in the work you do?

Serving as an activist for the advocacy of Black Women Architects in our industry is extremely rewarding. I am inspired by their stories every day and am actively working to join this group and fulfill my childhood dream of becoming an architect.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

When it comes to paving the way, standing by her truths, and delivering audacious, new typologies to our industry. Zaha Hadid serves my idol. As the first minority woman awarded the Pritzker in 2004 – Zaha conquered all. She lives on through wo(me)n.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

My proudest achievements includes launching FIRST 500 because of the overwhelming amount of support I have received is priceless. Furthermore, this speaks to the greatness of my subjects - these women have made my job so easy. For that I thank you!

Featured Project Name: 

FIRST 500

 

Featured Project Location: 

United States

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

Ongoing

Role in Featured Project: 

Founder and Executive Director

 

Featured Project Description:

FIRST 500 has begun as a lecture series (featured in publications, podcasts and conferences) and network. This initiative will become a publication that accurately documents history and inspires women interested in entering the industry. Furthermore, providing mentorship from the network when they do. FIRST 500 not only creates an encyclopedia of black women architects but is actively increases consciousness. Major industry supporters include NOMA, SOM, Gensler, EntreArchitect and AIA.

Photography Credit:

Tiara Hughes

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