Shaking up a profession

Robert Easter
Robert Easter, FAIA and Marcus Thomas, AIA

By Gregory Menti at AIA

In the first installment of a new series that features mentors and mentees speaking together about experiences and challenges in their careers, we interviewed Founding Principal of Kelso & Easter Inc. (KEI), Robert Easter, FAIA, and KEI Managing Principal Marcus Thomas, AIA. The pair met at Hampton University where Easter is a professor, and Thomas was a student.

The duo discuss what it means to be Black men in the world of architecture, what drew them to the profession, and the urgent need for diversity in the field.

Why did you decide to become an architect?

Robert Easter: I chose architecture because I liked to draw and I didn’t like to read. I was told architecture was one major at Hampton University that didn’t require a foreign language, and I assumed it didn’t require a whole lot of reading. Little did I know that I’d be reading and writing ever since.