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Saturday, October 17 • 1:50pm - 3:20pm
Jack + Steve Show

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NOMA’s “Jack and Steve Show”
By R. Steven Lewis, NOMAC, AIA, LEED AP
February 18, 2015
Legend has it that during a NOMA Conference some years ago when one of the schedule presenters failed to show up, Jack Travis and Steve Lewis were drafted into service to fill the void. With no formal preparation, the two did what came naturally and simply set up shop in front of those in attendance and embarked on a broad ranging exploration of design, practice, and the unique challenges and opportunities confronting architects of color in today’s world. At first the banter was confined to each other, but soon the audience became actively involved. At the conclusion of the session, people were either agitated or excited, but in all cases, they clamored for more. Since that inaugural year, the two 
have presented their seminar, which has come to be known as “The Jack and Steve Show,” every year at the NOMA Conference. The seminar follows a “call and response1” format during which Lewis plays the role of provocateur, challenging his colleague Travis to make a case for a so-called “Black Aesthetic.” Over the years, Travis has continued to evolve what he calls the “Ten Principles of Black Cultural Design, which consist of the following:
ECONOMY
SIMPLICITY
EASE OF CONSTRUCTION
EASE OF MAINTENANCE
SPIRITUALITY
HERITAGE
DUALITY OR IRONY OF THE CONDITION
EARTH CENTERED / EARTH NURTURING
STRONG INDOOR / OUTDOOR RELATIONSHIP
INTENSE USE OF COLOR, PATTERN + TEXTURE
It should not be lost on the reader that Black architects are by no means a monolithic block that would subscribe to some universal set principles and/or values, but rather are as diverse a group as might be found among any defined cohort of architects. Consequently, this forum allows for the free exchange of ideas and attitudes about design and the role of the “minority” architect, as differentiated – if at all – from that of the majority culture. Because racism today is far more embedded in the structure of society than it is overtly displayed, to claim that Blacks and other minority practitioners no longer face discriminatory treatment would be symptomatic of one who suffers from the illusion of inclusion. One need look no further than the current statistics on the number of licensed Black architects. As of the date of this writing, there but 1,9562 – 324 female and 1632 male – out of more than 100,000 total licensed architects in North America.

Speakers
SL

Steven Lewis

President, Thinking Leadership
Steven Lewis is an architect and a tireless advocate for social justice and diversity within the field of architecture. In January of 2008, he returned to Southern California to join Parsons as a Design Manager after serving four years with the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of the Chief Architect in Washington, DC. Steven was a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for the 2006-07 academic year. He was a... Read More →


Saturday October 17, 2015 1:50pm - 3:20pm
05 - First Floor Gallery Sheraton Hotel