Updated with the names of the four victims killed in Atlanta and statements by additional institutions and firms.

Several organizations in the architecture and design community have made public statements condemning the recent surge in attacks against Asian Americans and the March 16 shootings in Acworth, Ga., and Atlanta that killed eight people. Six victims were women of Asian descent—four of whom were of Korean ethnicity—and two victims were white. The Cherokee County Sheriff's office, in Georgia, identified the four people killed in Acworth as Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Delaina Ashley Yaun. On Friday, authorities released the names of the four victims killed in Atlanta: Hyun Jung (Kim) Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, and Yong Ae Yue.

Racism against people of Asian descent in the U.S. has been documented for approximately 160 years—essentially since the first significant wave of immigrants from China arrived. In 2020, the number of reported hate crimes against Asian Americans more than doubled from that in 2019 in six of the country's largest cities, according to a fact sheet compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. New York saw an 833% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes, yet a 38% decrease in total hate crimes. The reporting center Stop AAPI Hate has received 3,795 accounts of hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders between March 19, 2020 (when the center was founded), and Feb. 28, 2021; the actual number is likely significantly higher because not every incident is reported.

Below are statements issued from some of the architecture and design firms and institutions that have spoken out.

Mithun (March 10 statement)

The American Institute of Architects (March 17 statement)

Violent racism tears at the fabric of modern society. The latest spate of violence targeting members of the Asian community is yet another example of the pernicious impact of racism and inequity in our society. It is another clear call to act to ensure that equity, diversity, and inclusion are central to all that we do, as people and professionals. The challenges ahead and the dreams we share will only be achieved through diverse experiences, perspectives, and talents. Marginalizing, brutalizing, and silencing any group in society, harms and diminishes all of us. We all have a duty to speak up and to act to stop words and deeds that seek to devalue, ostracize, injure, or oppress anyone because of their gender identity or expression, physical disability, who they love, where they come from, the color of their skin, native tongue or any other perceived difference.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning (March 17 letter)

Dear all,

Yesterday’s murder of eight people in Atlanta, six of them of Asian descent, has been widely reported as possibly a racially-movitated killing. Whatever the facts are that ultimately emerge from this tragedy, the news presents an important opportunity to acknowledge an indisputable fact; particularly since the onset of the current pandemic, Asian and Asian-American members of our community have faced a challenging landscape of racism, stereotyping, and racially-motivated harassment in the United States—with 3800 reports of hate incidents targeting Asian-Americans nationwide since last March. As we must continue to do within our own department community, MIT has taken steps to support and acknowledge these stresses, as affirmed this year by the Institute Community and Equity Office and President Reif.

Asian and Asian-American students have been part of MIT’s story since at least 1877, when the first Chinese student graduated from MIT. Even a century ago, graduates from this department such as Y.Y. Wong ‘25 began shaping the cities and landscapes of Asia in turn. Today, our national and global landscape presents many challenges to understanding and engagement across cultures, including between Asia and the United States. As we continue our own work towards this goal, and acknowledge all parts of MIT’s history, let us remember that working to create understanding and support across cultures and experiences is an important way of building our own continued, and diverse identity as a community.

We are working to organize a place for shared discussion on these issues very soon, connected to our ongoing work on strategy and equity. In the meantime, we know that our Faculty will engage and support students in all of their conversations, and make space for connecting, as well as learning from each other across the community. Our staff are ready, as always, to help connect students to resources on and off campus as needed. And we encourage all our students to share your own hopes and fears with us and each other, and remember that we are a community of life before we are a community of work. Finally, any of our community members needing support are encouraged to access MIT-wide resources for undergraduate and graduate students and staff and faculty members in need, and, as always, to meet with me as well.

With care and collaboration, and more to come,

Nicholas de Monchaux

Professor and Head of Architecture MIT

Boston Society for Architecture (March 18 statement)

The Boston Society for Architecture stands with the American Institute of Architects in the fight against anti-Asian racism. We are horrified by the shootings on March 16, and by the racist actions that have allowed this kind of targeted violence against minority groups for generations.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 3,700 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported across our nation. This number, provided by the organization StopAAPIHate, is a fraction of all racist incidents targeting Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI), as many are not even reported. Targeted attacks against marginalized groups have a long and dark history in our country.

The BSA calls on its membership, allies, and friends to stand in solidarity against racism and actively participate in anti-racist work both professionally and personally. We cannot allow this violence to continue. When designers come together to change the systems that perpetuate violence and cruelty, we will harness our energies to create a more just, equitable, and inclusive world. We hope to be a resource and a partner in realizing such a vision.

American Society of Landscape Architects

Gensler (March 18 statement)
At Gensler, we condemn all acts of hate against the Asian and Asian-American communities.

We are horrified by the senseless murder of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, in Atlanta on Tuesday evening.

There is a long history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S., and since the beginning of the pandemic, crimes targeting Asian-Americans have dramatically increased. We have no tolerance for racist rhetoric, nor do we condone anti-Asian hate in any form.

We are determined to be part of the solution as an ally to the Asian-American Pacific Islander communities. We are committed to creating a just and equitable future.


Herman Miller

University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning (March 18 statement)
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has witnessed an uptick in anti-Asian hate and violence, with “Stop AAPI Hate” reporting over 3,200 incidents. This is mostly a result of the racial stigmatization that blames COVID-19 on Asian and Asian Americans. This week, we witnessed another terrible attack on the Asian community in Georgia. Six of the eight people killed were Asian women working at Asian-owned businesses. Although details are still developing, it is clear that the Asian and Asian American community is suffering greatly from this violent attack.

This violence and hate is not new to the Asian and Asian American communities. The United States has a history of anti-Asian rhetoric and policies. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to the Japanese Internment Camps in the 1940s, Asians and Asian Americans were subjected to a double standard of being blamed for the ills of this country while at the same time being the model minority. Anti-Asian racism impacts the Asian community directly, and all of us indirectly as it perpetuates the systemic racism we are trying to dismantle.

To our Asian and Asian American community: We see you and value you. You are a welcome and vital part of the Taubman College community.

To all of us: Let’s continue our anti-racism work, in the classroom and beyond.

In the words of American poet Emma Lazarus, “none of us are free until all of us are free.”

In solidarity, Taubman College Leadership Team

National Organization of Minority Architects

NOMA president Jason Pugh, AIA, posted an additonal message on behalf of his organization on LinkedIn.


AIA San Francisco Equity by Design Committee (March 19 letter by co-founder Rosa Sheng, FAIA)

Dear EQxD Community,

I wanted to reach out in the painful aftermath of witnessing another week of racist violence. The tragic shootings involving Asian women in Atlanta along with further assault and murders of Asian elders in California cannot be ignored in relationship to the surge of xenophobic, Asian American Pacific Islander harassment and violence coinciding with the COVID19 pandemic.

Unfortunately the recent hateful attacks are part of a long legacy of xenophobic and racist policies and practices in American history against AAPI individuals, racial and ethnic groups - Yellow Peril during the California Gold Rush, Chinese Exclusion Act, 1918 Flu Epidemic, and brutality related to the Japanese Internment Camps - to name a few of countless examples.

Additionally, these issues amplify the greater urgency of our collective work to holistically dismantle systems of oppression, disenfranchisement and harm for Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color. And with our recent exploration during the #EQxD2020 J.E.D.I. Agenda - we can't ignore that intersectional issues of race, gender, age, etc. in the reports of violence and harassment were greater by 2.3% for AAPI women and LGBTQIA identities.

We ask you to stand in solidarity with Asian American Pacific Islander and Asian immigrant communities to condemn the racist violence and hateful rhetoric. It is not only the extreme acts of violence, but also the daily discrimination and "casual racism" of hateful rhetoric that have contributed to long term trauma, anxiety, health and safety of AAPI individuals and communities. We must acknowledge and actively address the recent surge of anti-Asian harassment and violent attacks by standing up and speaking out in our communities.

I have started to compile resources to build a greater understanding of the gravity of these issues in hopes to begin a larger discourse towards action and positive results.

Please share and suggest other recommendations that you may have.

Grateful, Rosa T. Sheng, FAIA

LMN Architects


Olson Kundig



Perkins&Will (March 22 statement)

"Our Pledge of Support for the Asian Community"

Our hearts are heavy. Again.

Last week, we watched in horror as heightened anti-Asian racism around the world culminated in a murder spree targeting women of Asian descent in Atlanta, Georgia. It was a stark reminder of the hatred and xenophobia that has plagued our communities for decades—and of the pain and fear felt by our Asian colleagues, clients, friends, and family every single day. On the heels of a racially turbulent 2020, it also brought to the fore, yet again, the harrowing truth about racism: It is real, and it is deadly.

We know words alone won’t change the world. But we also know words matter—especially in hurtful moments. And so we declare this:

Perkins&Will unequivocally condemns all forms of racism. We categorically reject hatred, xenophobia, and violence of any kind, against anyone.

It is our responsibility to create places where everyone feels safe, welcome, and valued. We encourage our colleagues and clients to reach out to one another, and to listen to each other, with compassion and empathy. In this moment and always, we stand with the Asian community, and we pledge our unwavering support.

HKS (March 24 statement from CEO and president Dan Noble, FAIA)

"Hate, Violence Must Stop Now"

The tragic shootings in Boulder and Atlanta epitomize the devastation and destruction wrought by prejudice, racism and blind anger. It affects all of us in a profound and visceral way. We are appalled by theses escalating senseless acts, born out of ignorance and fear.

While we don’t yet know all of the facts in either case, we do know this: hatred incited by racism, discrimination, and xenophobia is not only abhorrent and destructive, but it also diminishes our unity as human beings, erodes our trust in each other and diminishes the creative potential possessed by every one of us.

In the wake of such senseless acts anywhere, HKS categorically condemns violence and hate in all its forms. We mourn with the families of the victims in Boulder and we grieve with our Asian and Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) colleagues and communities. We stand together to build a more just, equitable, and inclusive world.

As designers, we have the responsibility to create spaces where all can thrive and feel welcome.

This recent violence compels us to strengthen our commitment to radical inclusion, relentless bias confrontation and compassion for everyone. Driven by our core values of Relationship, Character and Purpose, we pledge to create a culture that is safe, supportive, and encouraging of all voices.

We recommit to infusing social responsibility into our culture as well as our governance structure. To do this, we track our corporate objectives and key results in alignment with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals form the framework for our Environmental, Social and Governance Report, which we’ve posted to the UN website here. This report outlines the years of commitment and work that we have already completed as well as the work we have yet to do.

Achieving real change requires us to set definable goals, implement effective processes and track our progress.

This story has been updated since first publication.