The Alumni of Color

In CED's revival of social factors in architecture, emphasis remained on the working classes with a focus on ethnic minorities. As Modernism blossomed and spread, ethnic communities took the brunt of the changing landscape. Without a seat at the table, unilateral decisions by the elite destroyed the ethnic fabric of Black, Brown, and Asian communities.

In response, social factors’ objective for white students stressed empathy, placing oneself in another's shoes as a prerequisite for programmatic development. For ethnic students, faculty prioritized the admission of students from working-class communities.

In this regard, I believe social factors were a success for me individually and the larger ethnic student body that attended CED during the '70s. As with the TELEM collective, the existence of social factors in CED was brief. Still, the hundreds of students shaped by the program without error came away with a deep connection to its teachings, and by extension, this internal connection fostered a physical one. So much so that over the last fifty years, we have maintained contact, sustained ethnic scholarships in CED, and supported each other as we branched beyond environmental design.

The QR wall of the exhibit is dedicated to this part of the tale.