For Kalief Browder...

They handcuffed me, slammed my head onto the front-end of one of their three police cars, patted me down, and stuffed me into the backseat. Frozen in a state of fear, anger, and confusion, I sat in the uncomfortably tight and hard back of the police car, praying to God for forgiveness and to get me out of this, because I only had a few more weeks left in Detroit.

The Seductiveness of Imagery

Did you know that less than 20% of human communication is verbal? That means 80% of all human communication is not coming out of our mouths. By nature, humans are visual creatures. Before we developed advanced languages, we inferred our emotions, intentions and ideas with visual expressions using the parts of our body. Today linguistics are highly advanced systems - there are over 7,000 languages in the world today - but visual information is still the primary influencer of human behavior

When Grass is Not 'Greener'

Today's world would have you think 'Green' = Sustainable, when some of the world's most sustainable places have no 'Green' at all. The two terms are related but they are not synonomous. Nonetheless, we've developed an entire market of 'Green' products that completely over-shadow the importance of an overall sustainability strategy. Time to get real about sustainable living.   

Broken System Pt. 2 - Being Black in America

African Americans have always been part of a broken system; there are systems of oppression literally created specifically for the continued degradation of an entire race of people. African Americans generally cannot fairly obtain education, health care, housing, employment, etc. without some disadvantage to serve as a hindrance to their progress and success – and this notion has been true for generations. As society improves, though, so has the opportunities for African Americans to achieve prosperity, and despite some tumultuous hindrances, the present day is the most successful, most wealthy, and most educated Black people have ever been. In order to maintain that trend, and work toward solving the issues of a broken system, African Americans must do two things: get educated and unify.

Just a Black Boy from the D

Whatever you set out to do in your life, whatever your dreams are, whatever God has for you, get up and go get it! You were put on this Earth for a reason, and I’m not going to sit by and watch you complain, or sulk, or whine, or worry anymore! I’ve already done all that for you.

History of Architecture: Part 2

Since architecture became a “thing”, it has always been intimately connected to the cultural values of human society. Architecture would continue to develop this way throughout the course of time. This week we explore the architectural developments of Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Persian civilizations.

Book Release: The Urban Portrait | Learning Through Deliberate Traveling.

In my new E-book, The Urban Portrait: Learning Through Deliberate Traveling, I share my personal experiences and lessons from my professional and educational travels. These lessons have helped me extract the most out of each of my travelling experiences by introducing me to deliberate traveling strategies - methods I continue to improve on to this day. I share these strategies because I know they will help you make priceless memories and experiences just as they have for me. 

Broken Systems Pt. 1

The following is part one of a two-part essay I'm writing for one of my educational theory courses in my doctorate program. We were asked to identify and provide context for a broken system in America. I chose to share this as part of a larger conversation I believe we should be having with each other and ourselves regarding our knowledge of African American history, where we are today, and where we're headed. This barely scratches the surface. Part 2, which will be released next month, will be my response with potential solutions. Read, share your responses, and #STUDI with me as we continue to work to figure this out!

History of Architecture: Part 1

Since architecture became a “thing”, it has always been intimately connected to the cultural values of human society. Architecture in its most basic form provides shelter for human beings and their activities. But architecture as we have come to know it can trace its beginnings back to humanity’s most significant cultural achievement - agriculture. Agriculture gave humans a reason to survive in one place. Instead of chasing food, we could now raise and grow our own. This more stationary lifestyle required a new and more permanent architecture. Agriculture marks the birth of modern civilization and cements the relationship between architecture and culture. Architecture would continue to develop this way throughout the course of time.

I cannot stress enough that architecture is a service based business, just like lawyers, doctors and other licensed professionals. People rarely gripe when they pay for these services yet, the established perception is that an architect’s time, skill, and knowledge are not deserving of compensation equivalent to their professional counterparts. Architects are expected to offer their skills for a discount, or for free and are constantly fighting for payment. Creativity in all forms suffer from this stigma. In addition to not knowing what we actually do, possibly an architect’s value is overlooked because the process of working with one is a vast unknown to the majority. It’s time to explain the basics of how we work.

Becoming an Architect

This is more of a personal account. I had no one educate me on the steps necessary to become an architect. All I knew is I wanted to be one. Before college, I hadn’t done any research and as a result I made a lot of early mistakes. Eventually, I got on track and have enjoyed a budding career in architecture and urban design. But the mistakes could have been easily avoided. The intent of this article is twofold: to educate clients/consumers of architectural services on the tremendous amounts of time and money it takes to become an architect; and second, to be a general guide for kids who have an interest in pursuing architecture as a career but don’t know where to start and how to begin. You’re welcome.

Value of an Architect

Architects bring tremendous value and worth to each and every stage of a project. But our input and expertise is often reduced to a mere line item on the balance sheet. Architects are not a cost nor a liability. We are an insurance. We are directors and managers. But most of all we are an investment that yields financial and sentimental dividends. Why? Because we have just as much interest as the client does, if not more, in seeing the project completed as designed. We insure that happens.