This week’s conversation was a fun one for me b/c I got to have an in depth conversation with Tiara Hughes. We cover the impact of attending a PWI (predominantly white institution).  We also talk about how representation matters and how we both were impacted by having, or not having, black professors during our architecture studies. We discuss the different types of architectural degree programs and how different degrees impact when you can start taking your licensure exams. We touch on working through grief and how to create a support network so you can keep going.

Building HighlightEmmett Till and Mamie Till-Mobley House. Check out the Tangible Remnants on Instagram page to see photos of the building.


Bio: Tiara Hughes , A St. Louis native, now based in Chicago, Tiara Hughes is a Senior Urban Designer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology, a Commissioner with the City of Chicago Landmarks Commission, and a real estate professional.

She is a devoted activist, educator and advocate for underrepresented communities and voices, and currently serves on the Board for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and the Charnley-Persky House Board of Directors for the Society of Architectural Historians. Tiara’s personal experiences in the industry along with her passion for advocacy led her to establish a national research initiative called FIRST 500 in 2018. As the founder and executive director of FIRST 500, Tiara travels the country to raise awareness of the importance of Black Women Architects throughout history and their contribution to the built environment.

Tiara is a believer in giving back to her community, serving as a co-leader of SOM’s ACE Mentorship program in Chicago. As a designer, Tiara is driven by creating work that emphasizes greater socioeconomic equity and cultural awareness. She believes “Ultimately our efforts to positively impact communities of color will expand outward and evolve our academic institutions, our firms, our industry and by extension, our communities.” In 2021, Tiara received the prestigious AIA Associates Award, given by the Institute to associate members who best exemplify the highest qualities of leadership and have demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to their component or region’s membership.

**Thank you to this Episode’s Sponsor: BQE makes it easy to manage your projects and people, for maximum productivity and ultimate profitability. Start implementing powerful systems for the profitability you need and the freedom you want. Join Douglas Tieger, FAIA for the next Designing Your Business Masterclass, brought to you by BQE CORE. Every live masterclass session is free and includes AIA continuing education credit. Register now at bqe.com/masterclass.

**Some of the links above may be Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.**

**This podcast is also sponsored by www.Smartsheet4architects.com.**

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top