President Elect Pascale Sablan Garners the 2021 AIA Whitney Young Jr. Award

NOMA President Elect, Pascale Sablan, FAIA

by: AIA

As an architect and an activist, Pascale Sablan, FAIA, is a champion of women and diverse design professionals. Through documentation, careful curation, and promotion of their work, she has greatly enhanced the profession and broadened social awareness of the built environment. Just the 315th Black woman architect to attain licensure in the United States, Sablan’s drive has inspired those around her and spurred the network she has built to advocate for themselves and their communities.

“In this season of strife and unrest—2020, the year of perfect vision—Pascale’s sojourn is refreshing and reassuring,” wrote William J. Stanley III, FAIA, in a letter supporting Sablan’s nomination for the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award. “Some people take years to achieve the same level of accomplishments that she has attained in so short a time. Her meteoric rise is a testament to the maximization of her gifts. She is exactly what the late author Lorraine Hansberry meant when we wrote the play book To Be Young, Gifted and Black.”

Sablan is a senior associate at New York’s S9 Architecture and has represented the firm at a number of local and national professional events and educational institutions, assuming a variety of roles from lecturer to panel discussion participant. Sablan’s very first project, while a member of Aarris Architects’ team, helped position her as an advocate. Sablan joined the firm when it was a finalist for the design of the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York, and she helped construct models and contributed to drawings from the schematic design through design development. Sablan also drafted the numerous symbols now engraved along the walls of this important monument, which shares the history of the more than 20,000 African slaves buried beneath City Hall and neighboring federal buildings.