Why is it important to expand the American narrative to include the accomplishments and stories of Black Americans?

This question implies that they are different. We tend to forget that Black history is American history, and it is a particularly important part of American history. But besides that; representation, perspective, and the ability to see yourself more than what or how others see you is of the utmost importance. The professions within CAP are ones that are not a celebrated part of African American culture but have the most impact on the lives of African American. So, when we can showcase them, the narrative of representation changes, and young boys and girls are able to see themselves more than what is currently perpetrated.

Why is mentorship of Black youth important to you?

Mentorship is important because of the lack of representation that already exists. Because it is difficult to imagine what you have never seen. Mentorship and exposure show that the world is larger than your current circumstance or location. Specifically, mentorship that is outside of your comfort level: Reach out to others who are in entirely different circumstances than you are because it is and should be a learning opportunity.

What advice do you have for Black students who aspire to work in the design professions CAP teaches?

The built environment professions have the most effect on our lives, and as a black or brown person, it has deeply affected not only your life but your overall community. From the impact of historic redlining and how it has influenced zoning, policing, socioeconomics, modern day gentrification, etc.; each of these things has a direct connection to the professions of the built environment. The ability to understand the negative impact and how those same professions can be used to reverse the negative and bring forth positive changes can only be accomplished by studying the design and built environment that CAP teaches. With that said, as a black or brown student in CAP, see the list below:

  • Build your armor because you will be tested: there will always be those who are better than you, smarter, and have opportunities or connections that you may not have, but always push through.
  • Understand your limits and push through: you will be tested in more ways than one be it mentally, physically (learn to either sleep for short periods of time or stay up for long periods), and emotionally.
  • Do not be afraid to be the only one: there will be plenty of times that you may or will be the only one who looks like you in a room. Understand and come to terms with this!
  • Learn to be a chameleon: blend in but retain who you are because no one else has your experience, and your experience is what makes the difference.
  • Have a life and enjoy yourself: look for affiliate groups and people outside of CAP. Remember this is the start of your career, and you need to learn to make the connections to the remainder of the campus. If you limit yourself to CAP, you will forget that our profession depends on people.

What Black artists or design professionals influence your work? In what ways?

Because of my varying interest, they are multiple minority artists and design professionals that have influence me and continue to influence me.

  • Paul Revere Williams
  • NOMA – National Organization of Minority Architects (all of the talented people involved in this organization, many are on this list)
  • Andre Perry
  • Vop Osili
  • Sanford Garner
  • Meticulous Architecture (all the people here)
  • Justin Garret Moore
  • BlackSpace
  • Bryan Lee
  • Kim Dowdell
  • Jason Pugh
  • Diébédo Francis Kéré
  • David Adjaye
  • Pascale Sablan
  • Curtis Moody
  • Phil Freelon
  • Charles Dawson
  • Antionette Carroll
  • Gail Anderson
  • Ashley Ford
  • Chuck Styles
  • Loyiso Mkize
  • Brandon Rule
  • Honestly this list is too large, and this is just some minority-specific people I admire and look up to.

Lourenzo Giple, BA 2008, MUD 2014, M.Arch 2016, teaches MUD classes at CAP’s Indianapolis location and is an architectural designer and project manager at Rottmann Collier Architects.