Vishaan Chakrabarti and Mark Gardner speak about challenges to racial representation in the architecture industry.

“Leadership in the field has to be way more diverse. We need to see a complete sea change in who is running this profession. Because it isn’t just about the diversity of identity politics; it’s about the work that architects create and how they impact the cities in which they work.

To channel President Obama, this is about creating a more perfect union. It isn’t just about whether people are accepting of immigrants; it’s about whether there is truly equal opportunity based on merit. In our field that is clearly still not the case. It is still imperative upon all of us to create that dialogue and make it better.”

– Vishaan Chakrabarti, PAU

“I think we have to focus on kids, especially students; young people of color. It’s like when Obama became president: If you don’t see it, you have trouble imagining yourself being it.

Imagine growing up in an area where you’ve never seen an architect who looked like you, and you think, “Do we do that?” It’s really important to try to catch students early.”

– Mark Gardner, Jaklitsch/Gardner Architects

Read more: 16 Architects of Color Speak Out About the Industry’s Race Problem, Curbed

Photo courtesy of: Curbed