Earlier this month, we reflected on our influential alumni and collaborators in the first part of our celebration of Black History Month. This week we look at some of the exciting and important work of our students and faculty. Design that creates change has always been intrinsic to the ethos of our school and our mission, and we continue to see our students and faculty embody this ideal.
We have been particularly inspired by ASTERISK and our NOMAS chapter, two student organizations that have shown passionate poise and commitment to justice and equity in architecture. And we have continued to learn and grow as a school from the continued contribution, development, and growth of our students and faculty.
Woodbury’s NOMAS Chapter was resurrected a few years back by students Khan Muhammad, Stephanie Green, Lamont Burnley, Storm Campo, and Cory Matsuda. Since then, the chapter has gone on to become SoCal NOMAS Chapter of the Year and placed third in the Barbara G. Laurie Student Design Competition. The group has organized a series of lectures centered around design justice and the call for equity in design practice. NOMAS Woodbury continues to lead the student body (and faculty) in efforts to realize reform in architectural education and practice. Follow NOMAS Woodbury on Instagram: @nomas_wu
Four students in Woodbury’s B.Arch program — Karin, Kayla, Ezinneka, and Mohamad — started ASTERISK to challenge architecture’s Eurocentric “canon.” The group has organized a series of critical discussions surrounding impactful practitioners who have been kept in the shadows through a biased narrative that has often favored charismatic white men. ASTERISK wants to put a light on those shadows. The quartet has led discussions on Eileen Gray, Paul R. Williams, Marion Mahony, Josephine Baker, and Norma Sklarek. Be sure to follow the group on Instagram: @asterisk.wsoa.
Khan Muhammad has been a tremendous leader within the student body, serving as the President of NOMAS, where he has consistently advocated for equity and inclusion within architecture. Khan was recently awarded the 2020 Jean Roth Driskel Scholarship by AIA Pasadena & Foothill (AIAPF). Khan is preparing to fulfill the final requirements of IPAL which will hep him acquire his architectural license upon graduation.
Last year, Ezinneka Emeh received a coveted 2020 AIA|LA 2×8 Award for her Studio 2A project titled Partially Similar, where she pursued a rigorous study of geometry and form to realize her final design. Ezinneka is one of the leaders of ASTERISK and has served on the School of Architecture Design Justice Committee as a student representative since last year. She continues to advocate for equity and inclusion in collaboration with her fellow students.
Michael ‘Caco’ Peguero is a multidisciplinary designer, educator, and founder of United Futures. His professional work encompasses AR / VR, projection mapping, and visual art for notable clients such as Amazon, Facebook, and National Geographic. He has worked on projects that have been showcased at the MoMA, the Serpentine Gallery, and SXSW. Caco currently teaches in our BArch and Applied Computer Science-Media Arts programs.
Raised in New Mexico, Quinlin Messenger believes design is a tool for social and environmental transformation. Messenger’s creative identity is rooted in his African American, Jewish, and Native American heritage – he challenges and honors these legacies through design justice – an awareness and healing modality that is at the core of his restorative practice.
Last year, following the civil unrest sparked by the unjust violence against the Black community, WSoA Students and the Black Student Association drafted a comprehensive statement that outlined concerns around equity, the impacts of COVID-19, and the broader strategy of the school to continue to make progress in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. See the full statement here.