AIA New Jersey Black History Showcase Presents Maria K. Hawkins, Associate AIA

February 17, 2019

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Maria K. Hawkins, Associate AIA

AIA New Jersey Black History Showcase Presents Maria K. Hawkins, Associate AIA


As a young child, I didn’t have a clear appreciation of the role of “architect” nor “architecture” in society. These were abstract concepts to me, simply because my built environment came to be by “construction workers” and “builders”.


Maria Tutoring at RCR


After years as a science major, studying Fine Arts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst eventually became the natural fit for me, after all, I come from a lively family of artists and creatives. The first year of the program involved a rotation through varied concentrations, however, as the daughter of an artist and an engineer, architecture it seemed, was the clear and natural path down which I would go.


Maria with Sigaru Bahn

I knew my fate was sealed when I was invited by my professor, Sigrid Miller Pollin, to complete a summer internship at her firm. When I entered her office for the first time, I did my best to hide my overwhelming emotion as I saw the large foam core displays of her work hung in her office. I will forever credit Sigrid, a female sole practitioner, for the personal gratification I appreciate today. I would later graduate with honors from UMass followed by a Master of Architecture from Northeastern University, Boston.


Maria in a Client Meeting in Egypt

My continued formation took me to internships in the New York metropolitan area, among other places, but none as impactful as my tenure completed in Colorado and Egypt with the NGO Engineering Ministries International. Our team of architects, interns, structural and civil engineers met with the client in Egypt to develop a plan for a community center to be built there. This experience shaped my deep interest in humanitarian and international practice.

Maria on the Construction Site for the Condominium Project in Costa Rica



Today, I am consulting in Costa Rica, collaborating with Catalan architect Joan Puigcorbé. My studio collaborates to design, develop and build single family homes, condominiums, restaurants and so forth. During the summers, I am invited by Pritzker Prize winning RCR Arquitectes to tutor with them at their annual LABA International Architectural Workshop in Northern Spain. The program is open to anyone in the world who is studying, practicing, or simply takes great interest in architecture and the fine arts. Here, as I tutor, I also get to recharge for a month in an atmosphere of pure design, philosophy and thought with some the greatest and recognized minds in the industry from every corner of the globe.


Souto de Moura RCR

I am proud to be a part of the AIA because it is the recognized and trusted standard for architecture in the United States. It not only provides a support system for practitioners but for potential clients too. When a client sees AIA affiliation, she/he should think “trust, accountability, protection… ”. I want to be a part of that. The path to licensure is particularly important to me as a minority. Since many of us are not represented in the field, I want to be an example for young people who may look like me, especially women and girls. In response to a changing world, the lack of representation also needs to change. I will be that change.

All photos are the property of Maria K. Hawkins, Associate AIA


Please learn more about my work here:


Featured works:

My full bio here:

By | Posted in Associates, Diversity, EquityInArchitecture, Women in Architecture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments (3)

3 responses to “AIA New Jersey Black History Showcase Presents Maria K. Hawkins, Associate AIA”

  1. Arlene Richardson says:

    So proud of you Maria never stop pursuing your dreams.

  2. Rose Thompson says:

    Kudos my dear ‘other’ daughter! I am SOO proud of you and your achievements and am happy that I was a part of watching you from High School day’s in Jamaica. What a talented young woman you have grown into. I know your grandfather would be so proud of you too. Keep
    On climbing heights and God bless you always.

  3. Adelaide says:

    Very proud of you !wow



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