A foundation for building
How MIT’s first African-American graduate, Robert Taylor, became a prominent architect and brought the MIT philosophy across regional and racial barriers.
Peter Dizikes, MIT News Office
PIONEERING BLACK ARCHITECTS IN NORTH CAROLINA
Today there are many black architects in North Carolina but before 1970, it was another story, and not a nice one. The field of architecture made choosing the profession very tough for women, but for minorities it was nearly impossible. There were almost none for decades. In 1950 there were only two black architects registered in North Carolina. By 1980 the number increased to only 65 out of a total 1909.
The Robert R. Taylor Network @ MIT is involved in and planning a number of iniatitiatives around the world geared to engaging communities and activating them through science and technology programs. The projects cover a range of activities and have spanned geographical areas from Brockton, Massachusetts to Dakar, Senegal.
Among them are a development lab, a website and the protoype for an environmentally conscious education development center.
In the video below, RRTN’s Urban Outreach project manager Tymothy Kennedy talks about some of the plans.
Architecture Phil Freelon-designed Tenleytown library opens in D.C.
Triangle Business Journal
Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 6:16am EST
Architect Phil Freelon with the Freelon Group of Durham is busy in D.C. nowadays. Freelon who is working with folks at the Smithsonian to design the National Museum of African American History and Culture, was instrumental in designing the new Tenleytown-Friendship Public Library which is getting a lot of attention of being modern, open-spaced and efficient.
Robert R. Taylor from MIT to Tuskegee: A Black Architect’s Journey
Robert Robinson Taylor (1868 - 1942) was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's first Black graduate.
Robert Robinson Taylor (1868-1942), the first academically trained African-American architect, entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1888 and graduated in 1892. Booker T. Washington, searching for professionally educated faculty for the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in Alabama, offered Taylor a position shortly after his graduation. Taylor arrived at Tuskegee that November as a teacher, designer, and, after the turn of the twentieth century, an academic administrator of a large vocational trades program. He directed the Boys Industries Department, educating several hundred students in more than twenty trades that included applied electricity, wheelwrighting, carriage building, tailoring, printing, steamfitting, brickmaking, plumbing, shoemaking, tinsmithing, and carpentry. In 1916 the Boys Industries Department enrolled 447 students. Taylor was also head of the Tuskegee Institute’s buildings and grounds and he designed much of the Institute along with buildings elsewhere — in Selma and Birmingham, Alabama, as well as in North Carolina and Texas.
By: Martin Creamer
24th January 2011
A 100% black-owned flexible plastic packaging film producer is embarking on a R500-million expansion programme to substitute imports and to capture a larger slice of the burgeoning African market.
Black engineers, aspiring engineers, their allies, supporters and others in the world of science and technology are getting ready for the 2011 Black Engineer of the Year Award ceremony and conference.
Titled “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Global Competitiveness Conference,” the annual event, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, will be held in Washington, D.C. from February 17th through the 19th. The Marriot Wardman Park Hotel on Connecticut Avenue in D.C’s “Northwest” quadrant is hosting the conference.
MIT professor and architect, Philip Freelon, landed a major architectural project for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum is set to be built adjacent to the Washington Monument by 2015. With a track record of designing cultural institutions, the Freelon Group Inc. used relevant experience to their advantage during the international design competition.
“We have been designing museums for over a decade at the firm,” said Freelon, acknowledging the work of his 50-member architectural firm located in Durham, North Carolina. “We competed for and were selected to do the pre-design and programming work for the museum.” The 14-month programming work process allows for decisions such as, the vision of the museum and possible exhibits.
Team members, Davis Brody Bond, the SmithGroup and Tanzanian-born British architect, David Adjaye are also in collaboration with Freelon on the museum project that will be devoted exclusively to the documentation of African-American life.
With construction set to begin in 2012, the project’s outcome has the potential to inspire and teach millions of visitors; just the type of job Freelon has connected with throughout his 30 years as an architect.
“I happen to be an African-American male from Philadelphia, all of the aspects of who I am come into play as I pursue this career,” said Freelon.
Designing on a Futuristic Level For RRTN by Tristen Graves
Digital fabrication may come as an unfamiliar concept for many, however for MIT professor and researcher, Larry Sass, it’s the future of architecture.
Sass, who earned both a masters and PhD from MIT, foresees the traditional use of blueprints and two-dimensional models transitioning to the use of three-dimensional, computer-generated models; a radical approach to the conventional process used by architects today.
Robbin Chapman works to increase the numbers of underrepresented faculty and graduate level students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
As the Manager of Diversity Recruitment for the MIT School of Architecture and Planning and the Assistant Associate Provost for Faculty Equity, Chapman works to ensure that MIT does not miss the opportunity to continue excelling.
“MIT is about promoting excellence and effecting positivechange in the world and one of the ways to promote excellence and innovation is to have a variety of people that bring all kinds of skills and perspectives, an area needed for the continued growth and innovation of MIT,” Chapman said.