February 28, 2021Reading Time: 3 minutes
by Tom Reynolds
Over the last year, TikTok has taken an interesting place for social media disruption from the youth dance and ice bucket challenge platform most know it for. Tom Reynolds has been using it to introduce a younger generation to the work and experiences of black architects.
“I didn’t think much of TikTok at first. My wife’s pre-teen cousin was making a video and the dance was the macarena. I knew that one so I did it with him.” Tom joined the platform then and through the sites algorithms were funneled toward professionals like @architectrussell, a British Architect who is currently living in Tanzania and has a following of over 245,000 people. “I saw his videos and said ‘I could do that.’”
So far, Tom has almost 15,000 followers and with Black History Month on the way decided to interview as many black architects as he could to put out a video each day in February. Topics ranging from race in architecture, the licensure process, and advice for staying motivated through school and the profession. “Videos on how many times people failed the Architect Registration Exam, the feelings that come with that and going back to pass seem to have a big impact with the many students that follow my account.” Said Tom.
The project was started as a 1-month goal has since morphed: “When I was interviewing my 5th black female architect, it dawned on me that I already hit 1% of them.” Tom now intends to attempt to interview as many as he can, hopefully reaching all 3,000 in a series he has named the “Black Architect Series.”
Because of the platform utilized, no video is longer than 1-minute, some tying themes from multiple architects in a single video such as Kenneth Crutcher, AIA and Mark Bess, AIA, both practicing architects and professors of architecture, speaking about taking a break in the licensure process and then family sidetracking the path for them, then coming back to a new version of the test.
The series aligns with this being the 50th anniversary of the founding of the National Organization of Minority Architects, of which Tom is the Vice-President of the New Jersey chapter.
Videos thus far
Thomas L Reynolds
Green Stories, LLC
Design that Matters, Work that Inspires
office: (973) 337-6877
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment. Founded in 1857, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through a dynamic network of more than 250 chapters and more than 95,000 member architects and design professionals, the AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standards. The AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. The organization’s local chapter, AIA New Jersey, has served as the voice of the architectural profession in the Garden State since 1900. Based in Trenton, AIA New Jersey has over 2,000 members across six sections. For more information, please visit http://www.aia-nj.org
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in Diversity, EquityInArchitecture, Members & the Community | Tagged: ##Blackhistoryfacts, #architecturestudent, #Blackarchitect, #Blackarchitect #Blackhistoryfact, #Blackarchitecturestudent, #tictokarchitect, #TomReynoldsAssociateAIA, NJNOMA, NOMA | Comments (0)
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.