Thu, Mar 17|
Clemson Design Center in Charleston
This conference includes key figures who initiated the culture/process/project of inclusion in Clemson University while feeling othered in our institution, South Carolina and the nation as a whole. The conference will aim to expose the hidden history of injustice. REGISTRATION CLOSES MARCH 3RD
Time & Location
Mar 17, 2022, 6:00 PM – Mar 20, 2022, 11:00 AM
Clemson Design Center in Charleston, 701 E Bay St, Charleston, SC 29403, USA
About the event
The history of Clemson University (C.U.) has traces of a segregationist South. The school of architecture, the only program in South Carolina, was established more than a 100 years ago. Many of the buildings you see on campus today were constructed by the hands of convict laborers and sit on the land that once operated as a plantation with enslaved labor. The university has experienced decades of sparse social and cultural transitions. Harvey Gantt was the first black student to be admitted to this university in 1963. He graduated from the school of architecture in 1965, and surely felt the pressure of being othered when his achievements made history. The Charleston born architect and former mayor of Charlotte, N.C.(1983-87) met his wife Lucinda Brawley at C.U., the first black woman who attended in that same year. C.U. named the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center in their honor. The Center is part of the Division of Inclusion and Equity. Ray Huff, FAIA of Huff+Gooden Architects who followed the Gantts in 1966, is also a Charleston native, and is currently the director of the Clemson Architecture Center of Charleston (CACC).
This conference includes some key figures who initiated the culture/process/project of inclusion in Clemson University while the feeling of being othered is still noticeable in our institution, South Carolina and the nation as a whole. With minorities representing only 11% of the student population of 25,000, establishing a sense of community has been a challenge at Clemson University. In order to settle a sense of belonging within a culture still dominated by white supremacy, like Gantt and Huff, Julian Owens, M.Arch ‘19, took the initiative to establish the first NOMAS chapter at Clemson’s School of Architecture. With the help of fellow minority architecture students and the support of Prof. Robert Hogan, cNOMAS was born in 2015. In 2021, with its 40 members, the chapter has grown to be a significant organization to students, faculty and alumni and continuously advocates for inclusive, just, equitable and diverse approaches to building a stronger Clemson community.
Charleston’s rich history and it’s current urban conflicts make it the perfect location for a conference addressing racial and social injustices within architecture. It is clear that, retelling our nation’s history, we have to bring back to the surface the pages of truth torn out from present education books. This is an erasure that misrepresents the real foundation of its history and silently supports inequality, injustice, and bigotry. However, thanks to architecture the history cannot be fully hidden. As the tool of collective memory, building surfaces chronicle the remnants of the past. Traces of the past on the urban surfaces of Charleston like the fingerprints on brick walls uncover a concealed narrative. The sanitized history presented as the shell of Charleston’s present existence, and the romanticized history of slavery in the south found in textbooks cannot erase the stories the built environment can tell. Then, can we reconsider architecture as an alternative book of history? The conference will revolve around this question through some historic evidence and contemporary examples exposing the hidden history of injustice.
2 hours 45 minutes
KeynoteMother Emanuel AME
1 hour 15 minutes