ZAKIYA WIGGINS

Clark Nexsen

SAY IT LOUD - Virginia Exhibitor

Virginia Based Designer

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Professionally, I am inspired by my fellow members of the National Organization of Minority Architects. Growing up in this profession, I was never successful at seeking out “a favorite architect” until I began to see myself reflected in their work.

ZAKIYA WIGGINS

Bio:

Zakiya Wiggins is a designer at Clark Nexsen and a scholar of AIA Virginia’s Emerging Leaders in Architecture Class of 2019. Prior to graduating with a Master of Architecture from Morgan State University in 2017, faculty selected Zakiya to receive the prestigious Alpha Rho Chi Medal. While at NC State University earning her Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture, she received both a Toni Thorpe Ebony Harlem Award of Excellence and an NC State Traditions Keeper Medal in 2015.

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

I didn’t learn about architecture until a career research project that I did my freshman year of high school. As I began pursuing the path of the built environment profession, NC State’s immersive Design Camp solidified my decision to move forward.

What do you do?

I am an Architectural Designer for Clark Nexsen. My work at Clark Nexsen has been primarily federal and local public safety projects that have ranged from the east coast to the west coast. I have also been the LEED AP of record for numerous projects.

What excites you in the work you do?

My favorite part of the process is construction. I’m still at the point in my career where I’ve spent more time in school that I have worked, so the satisfaction of seeing my design built is incredible, and I hope it’s a feeling that never wears off.

Who or what inspires you professionally?

Professionally, I am inspired by my fellow members of the National Organization of Minority Architects. Growing up in this profession, I was never successful at seeking out “a favorite architect” until I began to see myself reflected in their work.

What is your proudest professional accomplishment or achievement?

My proudest achievement would be leading my CANstruction team as both the designer and project manager. Our team was 30+ volunteers; our structure was 8,400 cans of donated food; and our project won three awards - including the Viewer’s Choice Award.

Featured Project Name: 

The Veteran Ability Center

 

Featured Project Location: 

Baltimore, MD

 

Featured Project Completion Date: 

Unbuilt Thesis Project

Role in Featured Project: 

Sole Designer

 

Featured Project Description:

The Veteran Ability Center (VAC) improves the quality of life of veterans with limb extremity amputation by focusing on accessibility, circulation and form to create a place of mental, physical and social healing. The main circulation of the VAC is a multi-level exercise ramp that travels from the ground level to the rooftop. The main spaces include a pool for reflection and fundamental strength building, athletic courts, strength training rooms, individual and group counseling rooms and a greenhouse.

Photography Credit:

Renderings by Zakiya Wiggins

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