In 1963, by federal court ruling, South Carolina’s Clemson University was racially integrated. The ruling was regarding a 20 year-old Harvey Gantt, who despite excellent academics had been repeatedly barred from entering the university’s architecture program because of his skin color. Rather than accept the status quo, Gantt filed a suit which would eventually make its way to the Supreme Court before he was accepted. It was the first, but not the last time that Gantt would gain widespread attention for his talent, dedication, and ability to break racial barriers in pursuit of his goals.
Fifty years later, the AIA has selected Harvey Gantt to be honored with the 2013 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award for his long career as an architect, politician, and pioneer in civil rights. The award is named after the former head of the Urban League who in 1968, called attention to the Architectural League’s lack of social advocacy, and challenged women and minorities to become more actively involved in the profession of architecture.
Gantt’s groundbreaking entrance into Clemson University was just the beginning of his successful career, which has been marked with achievements in several fields. After graduating from Clemson, Gantt earned a masters degree in city planning from MIT and then returned to Charlotte, NC. A year later in 1971, he founded the successful firm, Gantt Huberman Architects, with his partner Jeffrey Huberman. Since then, the firm has designed many prominent buildings in the Charlotte area including museums, educational buildings, and rail and bus stations. (more…)
Image: Shanghai Expo
Imagine the bubble architecture students find themselves trapped in while pursuing higher education: long hours cradling a mouse demote food and sleep, much less investigations of non-disciplinary theory. How wonderful, then, that the Roth-Symonds Memorial Lecture Fund supports lectures and small-group meetings to expose Yale School of Architecture students to speakers outside architecture; past lecturers have included sociologist Loic Wacquant, urbanist Saskia Sassen, and media and cultural theorist Thomas Y. Levin. This spring, Neil Smith, distinguished professor of anthropology and geography at CUNY, delivered “Toxic Capitalism: Neoliberalism, City Building and Crisis.”