In the early 1990s Carolyn Armenta Davis issued an international call for submissions of built projects designed by Black-owned architectural studios between 1970 and 1990. Out of more than 280 submissions, 70 designs were selected to become part of the exhibition “Design Diaspora: Black Architects and International Architecture 1970-1990.” The exhibit, curated by Armenta Davis, was the first to focus on the built work of 50 contemporary Black architects from 11 countries, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Canada, Jamaica, Brazil, Nigeria, Senegal, Cameroon, and South Africa. Between 1993 and 2000, the collection of architectural photography, drawings, and models toured 20 venues in the U.S., South America, Africa, and Europe.
The exhibition led to the production of a related documentary titled “Viewpoints of Black Diaspora Architects.” In this film, which was produced by Armenta Davis in 1993, eight of the architects selected for Design Diaspora discussed a range of critical topics, such as African heritage in architecture, changes in the profession, tropical architecture, designing for women and children, urbanism, diaspora and collaboration, as well as personal challenges, achievements and legacies.
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