New York Times Explores Black Life, Front Porches and Building Identity

The work and scholarship of alumnus Germane Barnes (M.Arch ’10) was recently featured in The New York Times in the piece On the Front Porch, Black Life in Full View.

Exploring the role that front porches have played in African-American culture, the story features the personal stories of eight black men and women. The story highlights Germane’s work and his examination of how the built environment influences social and cultural experience. Most recently, Germane gave a lecture on “Porch Politics” at Princeton and was awarded a Graham Foundation Grant on sacred stoops and black congregational spaces.

As The New York Times states, “The porch has also inspired scholarship. Germane Barnes, a black architecture professor at the University of Miami, has traveled the country studying its role within black vernacular. “Architecture and identity go hand in hand,” said Mr. Barnes, 33, who grew up in Chicago. His research took him to Detroit, where he found a historical city undergoing an economic rebirth and black homeowners eager to share memories of watching life unfold on their front porches.”

Germane Barnes is the Director of Studio Barnes, a testing ground for the physical and theoretical investigations of architecture’s social and political agency. He is also the Designer in Residence for the Opa-Locka CDC and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Miami. His design and research contributions have been published and exhibited in several international publications and institutions, including: The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, The Swiss Institute, DesignMIAMI/ Art Basel, Architect Magazine and Curbed.com, where he was named a member of the 2015 Class of Young Guns.

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Cover Photo by Matthew Roy

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