Today, The American Institute of Architects named Gabrielle Bullock, FAIA, as the winner of the 2020 Whitney M. Young Jr. Award. Established in 1972, the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award recognizes an architects who "embodies social responsibility and actively addresses a relevant issue, such as affordable housing, inclusiveness, or universal access," according to AIA's website. As a principal and the director of global diversity at Perkins and Will, Bullock has been a vocal advocate of inclusivity in the architecture community and for utilizing architecture as a tool to positively impact the lives of African Americans and other people of color.
“Having her advocating for architects of color, of which I am one, and others marginalized within the profession has been and will continue to be extremely valuable,” wrote Carlton T. Smith, FAIA, in support of Bullock’s nomination. “Using the international platforms made available to her through her innate desire to serve has increased awareness not only within the profession, but also to a much larger audience. Her message will continue to resonate for years to come.”
Born in New York City, Bullock graduated with a B.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1984, becoming the second black woman to graduate from the institution. She joined Perkins and Will in 1988 as a project manager and was eventually elevated to be the firm's first woman and first African American managing director. In 2013, Bullock was named the firm's director of global diversity. Bullock has been a leader in the National Organization of Minority Architects since 1993, spearheading initiatives such as the organization's Project Pipeline Architecture Summer Camp, which encourages minority youth to explore design.
In addition to her role in shaping the culture of diversity and inclusion at Perkins and Will, Bullock is renowned for her design work in projects such as Destination Crenshaw in Los Angeles, and the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
“As former staff of AIA National and responsible for equity, diversity, and inclusion, I have relied upon Gabrielle Bullock to provide support, advocacy, and speak for the advancement of a more diverse profession,” wrote Damon Leverett, AIA, in a letter supporting Bullock’s nomination. “While being highly engaged in the culture of the profession, she maintains a progressive career as an architect and designer, leading socially responsible projects across the country and globally.”
This year’s jury comprised chair Timothy C. Hawk, FAIA, president of WSA Studio, Columbus, Ohio; Lawrence Scarpa, FAIA, founder of Brooks Scarpa in Hawthorne, Calif.; Peter MacKeith, Assoc. AIA, dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark.; Oswaldo Ortega, AIA, associate at Gensler in Chicago; and Julia Laue, AIA, principal architect and bureau Manager for the San Francisco Public Works Bureau of Architecture.
To learn more about Gabrielle Bullock, read her op-ed, "Finding the Leader in the Mirror," which appeared in the December 2019 issue of ARCHITECT.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated.