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Committee & Network Fair

January 22, 2024

Latinos In Architecture

LIA seeks to serve and support our local communities by establishing a forum for celebrating Latinos in the design related professions.

Latinos in Architecture intends to be an open resource group for architects, design professionals, educators, students, and the community

Our Mission:

The mission of the Latinos in Architecture Committee, is to serve and support our local communities and strengthen relationships and networks between professionals in the field of Architecture.  We will also work to be a positive influence for Latino students aspiring to become Architects, by finding opportunities to volunteer and get involved in community issues, providing guidance and expertise and participating in mentoring programs.

The Reality:

Growing Hispanic population in our communities.  As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau Hispanics made up 42.4% of Dallas' population. Hispanics are growing in population in Dallas and this growth is also creating more challenges.
As architects, we see and understand this as an opportunity to step up and take a leadership role.

A current void in leadership in the Hispanic community. There are insufficient ethnic minority role models in Architecture, and it therefore does not occur to young people from such backgrounds (or their parents and teachers) as a career choice. Hispanics have been historically less represented. There is a lack of support regarding architectural guidance in the Hispanic community, and this is an opportunity for involvement, as architects to intervene and find ways to help them with our expertise.

A lack of connectivity/network between Latino architects in Dallas.  There is a need for an organized committee that strengthens relationships between Latino professionals, and that helps to overcome the lack of promotion for Hispanic architecture in the Metroplex. AIA Dallas Latinos in Architecture was the first inclusive committee of its kind in the United States.

There is a current interest by architecture firms in reorienting their practices and expanding to the Latin American Market.  A committee of this kind could help maintain international relationships and partnerships and serve as a marketing tool for architecture firms.

Our Components/Programs:

Professional Networking Component/Programs:

Networking/Informational Happy Hours: Promote networking between Latino architects in Dallas through a yearly happy hour hosted at a local architecture firm.

National Hispanic Heritage Month: In celebration of “Mes de la Hispanidad”, in September: "National Hispanic Heritage Month- Celebrating the Work of Dallas Latin Architects and Designers”. The event is both a social event as well as an opportunity to continue the committee's design community outreach. The exhibition recognizes local Hispanic architects and designers and their participation and responsibility as roles models for future practitioners.

Extend our hand to other AIA chapters in developing future LIA committees with the same principles and goals.

Community Component/Programs:

Through active participation on volunteering programs, LIA collaborates with different organizations in our city, like the Dallas CityDesign Studio:

West Dallas Design Charrettes: LIA volunteers serve as facilitators for the community of La Bajada neighborhood with the overall intent to keep the community involve and promote them to be an active voice as the Trinity River Project, the Calatrava Bridge and several developments in the area may affect La Bajada residential area, specifically, the western gateway to the Continental Bridge. Amongst the Principles taken by the City Design Studio are: to protect and enhance La Bajada, to create north-south connections between Singleton and Commerce streets, and to motivate incremental businesses and organic development throughout the area.

La Bajada Neighborhood Stabilization Overlay (NSO): The NSO is an important ordinance tool of height control that will help protect La Bajada and keep it single family residential. This neighborhood has a high percentage of Hispanic population.

Educational Component/Programs:

From an Architect’s Bookshelf: In July 2010, LIA launched a book donation/library development program that would provide local high schools with books, journals and monographs that are essential the for teaching and research of Architecture but too costly for most schools or scholars to afford. The program is envisioned as a library development project, with all the material donated through the LIA community, to a local high school(s).

Donations can include: Architecture, interior design, art and construction books.  This program runs from July through September.  Bookshelf Leaders are always needed at different architecture firms and at other locations to be in charge of collecting the donations.

Lecture series in collaboration with the Dallas Architectural Forum: A Latin architect will be presented as part of the DAF schedule of lecture series in collaboration with Latinos in Architecture.