The History of Black Architects in Michigan

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Meet 2022 AIA Columbus Architecture Awards jury member Saundra Little, FAIA, NOMA!

African American Architects have made significant contributions to Detroit’s built environment. See how Black Architects have shaped areas of Detroit, including Wayne State University and downtown areas. View the work of Johnson, Madison, Sims, Varner, Hamilton, Little and others. You’ll hear stories of trailblazers of architecture, unique designs, and project collaboration.

We will also hear about Saundra’s projects including the TechTown Coworking Space, Tower on the Maumee, Osi Apartments, and Allied Media Headquarters.

Saundra is a Principal and Director of Diversity and Inclusion with Quinn Evans, is an accomplished architect and dedicated advocate for the revitalization of the urban realm. With expertise in building assessments and creative yet practical design strategies, she helps clients transform buildings, increase property values, and bring new life to aging communities. Saundra’s portfolio reflects the diversity of the neighborhoods she champions, with successful cultural, institutional, educational, and commercial projects of all sizes. Her work in design, revitalization, and adaptive use projects consistently demonstrates a respect and sensitivity to the unique architectural heritage of local neighborhoods. Through her devotion to this challenging work, she has helped renew, uplift, and sustain vulnerable communities. Saundra has also focused much of her career on mentorship and introducing young minorities to the architectural profession. Over the past seven years, she has helped more than 200 Black students at the middle school, high school, and college levels explore the architectural field through paid internships, mentoring programs, career fairs, and community forums. Saundra is a past President of NOMA Detroit from 2010- 2012, fostering communications and fellowship among minority architects. AIA Detroit Board Member 2014-2016, (Design Core) Detroit Creative Corridor Center DC3 Advisory Board 2013-2017, Detroit Sustainable Museums Action Council (dSMAC) Advisory Board 2017-2018 and current NOMA National Midwest Vice President 2020-2023.

Saundra’s history and documentation project Noir Design Parti was selected as one of Detroit’s winners in the 2016 Knight Foundation Arts Challenge. The project, which she conceptualized with historian and diversity and inclusion advocate Karen Burton, documents the careers and creative works of Detroit’s African American architects.

September 28, 2022
12-1 PM via Zoom
Earn 1.0 LU

AIA Members, Associate Members, and Students: $5
Non-members: $10

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