This episode features a fun conversation with Melvalean McLemore.  As you’ll hear, we are at a similar point in our careers and I was so excited to be talking with her since she’s one of the Black women architects I didn’t know well before this episode.  We shout out a number of  black women architects and designers that have influenced our careers as well as talk about her journey into the profession, some of the biases and design challenges that we’ve seen in the profession as well as the frustration we feel when people try to approach black architects to just serve the role of checking a box.


Bio: Melvalean McLemore, AIA, NOMA, LEED AP is a Senior Associate, project manager and Texas studio design leader at Moody Nolan, the country’s largest African-American owned and operated architecture firm. She was one of the first 500 licensed Black women architects in the U.S and is the 16th licensed black woman architect in the state of Texas. 

She is a champion for diversity in the profession, including co-founding AIA Houston’s Women in Architecture committee and NOMA National’s HBCU Professional Development Program (PDP).

Melvalean is the recipient of multiple awards, including both the Texas Society of Architects Caudill Young Architect Award and AIA Houston’s Ben Brewer Young Architect Award, and most recently the 2024 Young Architects Award from AIA National. Her achievements mark a progressive milestone within the architectural community.

She was honored by the City of Houston for her historic achievement as the first Black female president of the AIA Houston chapter, which prompted the Mayor to officially proclaim November 28th: “Melvalean McLemore Day.

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