The Clemson University School of Architecture NOMAS has been selected as the National Organization of Minority Architects' (NOMA) student chapter of the year for 2022. Announced during NOMA's Nashville Unplugged Conference on October 28, they stood out among more than 100 student chapters for their hard work and organization of the Addressing Erasure: Designing our Future conference, which took place in March in Charleston.
“With the goal to address issues of inequality, injustice, racial discrimination, and bigotry, cNOMAS knew Charleston would be an appropriate setting,” Clemson’s former chapter president Michael Urueta said of the conference. “A romanticized and typically veiled history of enslavement and social issues increased the need to have critical conversations about the truth of the city, the designed environment, and how we can design a better future.”
Former MASS Design Group principal Michael Murphy served as the keynote speaker at the conference. This year's event programming was held across three locations in Charleston, including the Clemson Design Center in Charleston (CDC.C.), Pei Cobb Freed & Partners’ new International African American Museum), and the historic Mother Emmanuel AME Church.
“The NOMA board was impressed that we accomplished so much as a student chapter without a professional chapter in the state, and we hope that the student's achievement will encourage architects across South Carolina to establish a NOMA chapter here,” the group's faculty advisor Clarissa Mendez said in a statement.
At the cNOMAS Conference, the student chapter welcomed a robust speaker lineup, including Rhondda Robinson Thomas, Michael Allen (CEO and architect at MOA Architecture), Ray Huff (founder of the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston and co-partner at Huff+Gooden Architects), Kimberly Dowdell (former NOMA National President and Marketing Principal at HOK's Chicago studio), and Michael Arad (Partner at Handel Architects.) Learn more about the conference speakers here.
The chapter's current president Sheldon Johnson shared, “Our goal as cNOMAS is to create a more impactful and collaborative architecture studio space for our fellow peers to help breed both creativity and camaraderie between classmates. If we can design healthy spaces for our future clients to grow and evolve, why not create spaces for our future architects to do the same?”
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