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The Problem with Minorities in Architecture






Fortunately I did not follow the expected educational path for minority students in architecture. It wasn't from a lack of trying. I took the undergraduate design studios and hand drawing classes, but without any previous background in the discipline I was lost. At my first design jury in arch. 101, I couldn't walk in the door and took an incomplete in the class. It was as if something was holding me back, or like I was standing in my own way.


The breakthrough came one day when I received a Chinese book of wisdom, the I Ching.  Fascinated by its foreword written by C.G. Jung, I began using it. At first, the strange landscape it painted seemed unapplicable to my situation. But as I became more familiar with its signs and symbols, I began to understand what it was trying to convey. I was in a situation where I had to discover knowledge about myself before I could continue with my studies.


And just as predicted by the I Ching, teachers began appearing. First was Professor James Prestini. I couldn't vocalize it then, but my first design class, ED 4, was about self-knowledge. Professor Prestini had introduced the concept of "wholeness" by using "folding circles".


Next came Professor Willard Rosenquist, an instructor in visual design. Professor Rosenquist gave me the key to his studio. With his help, support and guidance I learned to compose and translate my inner sight into light.



Then there was Professor Reichek's recognition of my hunger for self-knowledge and his support of independent study in the area of Jungian psychology. With his assistance I tackled the entire works of C.G. Jung.

I graduated with a degree in architecture with what Professor Reichek refered to as a very unusual background; and proceeded into graduate school to continue my studies.


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