The 2024 Norma Merrick Sklarek Lecture at Barnard College
The Barnard Architecture Department is pleased to announce that the 2024 Norma Merrick Sklarek Lecture will be given by Felecia Davis.
Felecia Davis will give the 2024 Norma Merrick Sklarek Lecture at Barnard College on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. The Norma Merrick Sklarek Lecture honors Barnard alumna, Norma Sklarek, one of the first Black women architects in the US, by inviting current groundbreaking and influential designers to campus to be in dialogue with our community. The lecture is sponsored by the Barnard Architecture Department, and Felecia Davis will be in dialogue with alum Anda French BC’02. Keren Dillard, BC’19 will introduce the legacy of Norma Sklarek, and Karen Fairbanks, Claire Tow Professor of Professional Practice and Chair of the Architecture Department, will introduce the event.
Felecia Davis’ work in computational textiles questions how we live and she re-imagines how we might use textiles in our daily lives and in architecture. Davis is an Associate Professor at the Stuckeman Center for Design Computing in the School of Architecture at Pennsylvania State University and is the director of SOFTLAB@PSU. She completed her PhD in Design Computation at MIT. Davis’ work in architecture connects art, science, engineering and design and was featured by PBS in the Women in Science Profiles series. Davis’ designs were part of the MoMA’s exhibition Reconstruction: Blackness and Architecture in America. She is a founding member of the Black Reconstruction Collective a not-for-profit group of Black architects, scholars and artists supporting design work about the Black diaspora. Davis’ work has been recently recognized by the DigitalFUTURES Group in 2021 for the Black Flower Antenna, the New York Architectural Leagues’ 2022 Emerging Voices in Architecture program, ACADIA’s 2022 Innovative Research Award of Excellence and the 2022 National Design Award from the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Museum for Digital Design.
Norma Merrick Sklarek attended Barnard in 1944-45 and graduated from Columbia with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1950. In 1980, she became the first Black woman elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows. Breaking barriers throughout her career, her influence continues to resonate today.
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About Barnard and Columbia Architecture:
The Barnard College Architecture Department is the home of undergraduate architecture at Columbia University. Students study with renowned faculty who are dedicated to the unique opportunities of teaching architecture within the liberal arts while they are pursuing research and creative practices of extraordinary breadth and depth. Alumni of our Department are leaders in the architecture profession, in academia, in related fields, and sometimes in fields very different from their undergraduate major. They are designers and activists using their unique education and skills to actively engage in shaping the world and imagining new futures.
The Norma Merrick Sklarek Lecture has been made possible through the generous funding of the IDC Foundation.