Diversity and Inclusion in Architecture School

Today’s Topics:

  • Diversity in the Student Body
  • How our Classes are Structured
  • Change is Coming

This article is meant to be informative of how our current situation is. Then provide insight on initiatives that we are working on as a school.

Diversity in the Student Body

When you think about architecture, what type of person comes to mind?

About 70% of the field of architecture today is made up of a white ethnicity. This is followed by about 15% Asian, 10% Hispanic, and 2% black.

Now looking into my school, the best thing that we have accomplished is that in my class we have more women than men in the major. This has drastically increased over the last 20 years.

Where we fall short is diversity in ethnicity. Specifically with black students, the number of enrollment has staggered along the same numbers and has not really increased in the same way.

I’m not entirely sure what is a reasonable goal for diversifying the field, but I know that architecture schools in general need to do better.

How our Classes are Structured

Architecture school is also interesting in the fact that the classes we take are rooted in the history of the school.

When architecture schools were first created, they did not have diversity in mind. They controlled the narratives and what was taught to students which was majorly the white male.

Now in 2021, we should start to look at how our classes are structured and how they should start to reflect our goals of diversity and inclusion.

Faculty and staff are at an understandable disadvantage because they were taught in similar environments and have been teaching this one way for a number of years.

So to go and look at how we can change the structure of classes can be extremely difficult.

Change is Coming

Over this past year, we have gotten a new director for the school of architecture and one of the main objectives have been diversity and inclusion within the school.

Since then, there have been various new organizations/committees that we have formed within the school and that I have been able to work on.

We created a student coalition for the college so that we as students have more representation within the school body.

I have been invited to the student forum for architecture students to talk about change within the architecture program.

Then with teachers and students I am part of the diversity equity and inclusion committee.

All of these at different levels are working towards similar goals at different levels within the school and college.

I am happy with the direction that the school is going in, and I can’t wait to be back on campus next semester to do even more work.


Thanks for tuning into this week’s blog post, I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions about diversity and inclusion in architecture schools. As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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