This week’s episode features a fun conversation with Dr. Kwesi Daniels. We talk about his journey into the profession, various tools of the trade, and having a ‘Guerilla bag’.

Building Highlight: Tuskegee University Sage Hall


Bio: Dr. Kwesi Daniels is the Head of the Architecture Department at Tuskegee University. His professional experience ranges across various disciplines, including historic preservation, architecture, sustainability management, and urban geography. He previously served as the Green Homes Coordinator for the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Within this capacity, he was responsible for “greening” affordable housing throughout the state by implementing renewable energy, energy efficiency, and green finance products, which developers could use to improve the sustainable performance of the properties within their portfolio. One of the best financial products he uncovered while working with the NJ-HMFA was the integration of green financing with historic preservation and affordable housing tax credits. The coupling of sustainable building features with the restoration of historic structures creates an excellent opportunity to address three needs- aging infrastructure in urban areas, the demand for affordable housing, and the pending changes from climate change. His groundbreaking working at the NJ-HMFA provided the foundation upon which he does his current work.

In 2018 he began developing a historic preservation program at Tuskegee University, within the Robert R. Taylor School of Architecture and Construction Science. The goal is to train architecture and construction science management students to handle the nuances of historic properties. This preservation work has expanded the resources of Tuskegee into African-American communities in Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham, and Tuskegee, Ala. He and his students are currently working to preserve the Armstrong School in Macon County, Al, a Tuskegee rural school model building and precursor to the Rosenwald School program. Some of his civic work includes serving as an advisory board member for the UPenn Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Heritage Sites, board member of the Rosenwald Park Campaign Advisory Council, and the 3rd Congressional District Representative of the Alabama Black Heritage Council. Dr. Daniels earned a BArch and MArch in architecture from Tuskegee University and the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MS in sustainability management from Columbia University. In 2020 he earned a Ph.D. in urban geography from Temple University. His doctoral research focused on the positive and negative social impact universities can have on communities around their campuses, particularly communities of color. 

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