NOMA Members’ Voices Celebrated

Imani Dixon
Imani Dixon, AIA, NOMA, presenting her Graduate Thesis

By AIA Chicago

To kick off our new ‘Member Voices’ blog series, we asked Black/African American members of the chapter to share their thoughts on the profession, equity, as well as a few fun questions to get to know them on a more personal level. As we work toward a more equitable and sustainable profession, we look forward to highlighting the voices and experiences of those who make our chapter such a great place.

What or who has inspired you to become an architect?

I was inspired by growing up in Chicago and seeing both the legacy of architecture with Mies Van Der Rohe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan, and many others, as well as the historic inequities in my neighborhood, like the south and west sides. While I wanted to create beautiful iconic architecture, my goals were to bring that to communities like the ones I grew up in. – Dawveed Scully, AIA, AICP, NOMA

I didn’t grow up knowing any architects, nor did I really know what architecture was when I was a child. I knew I wanted to do something somewhat artistic, so I figured that graphic design was something I heard of that I could do. My best friend in 7th grade said something about being an architect when we talked about what we wanted to do when we grew up. The thought never occurred to me, and when I found out more about it, I believed it seemed like the perfect blend of math and art, both things I was pretty good at! I thank her all the time because she’s the reason architecture was even on my radar. I started the path right away when I went to college at 17, and luckily it was something I really enjoyed! – Imani Dixon, AIA, NOMA