How Can Designers Fight for Racial Equity? / Germane Barnes

By The Archiologist

Barnes’ research and design practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity, examining architecture’s social and political agency through historical research and design speculation. Learning from historical data and perspectives from within architecture as well as cultural and ethnic studies, he examines how the built environment influences the social and cultural experience. Born in Chicago, IL Germane Barnes received a Bachelor's of Science in Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Architecture from Woodbury University where he was awarded the Thesis Prize for his project Symbiotic Territories: Architectural Investigations of Race, Identity, and Community. He believes strongly in design as a process, and approaches each condition imposed on a project as an opportunity rather than a constraint. Architecture presents opportunities for transformation – materially, conceptually and sociologically. Currently he  is an Assistant Professor and the Director of The Community Housing & Identity Lab (CHIL) at the University of Miami School of Architecture, a testing ground for the physical and theoretical investigations of architecture’s social and political resiliency. In the episode we talk about his background, where he comes from and what experiences he had that made him think architecture was the best career to pursue for him. He tells me about the time he got arrested in his very own front porch, because he "fit a description of a black guy that had stolen some shoes," and he also tells me about the constant discrimination that he was faced with by his veryy own professors at his undergraduate school. We then talk about his trip to Cape Town, South Africa, where he did pro-bono work for low income families, which changed his whole understanding of architecture completely. We then talk about where he is at now, fighting against racial discrimination in the most violent neighborhoods of Miami, Florida.   --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast.

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