Latinos in Architecture

LiA gathers the first Tuesday of every month from 6pm-7pm in-person at Architecture Center Houston or via Zoom

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A conversation with Latino managing principals of medium sized firms
Wednesday, August 16, 6:30pm
HarrisonKornberg Architects
Register Here

Of the over 116,000 registered architects in the United States only 5.4 percent identify as Latino or Hispanic according to NCARB.  Latinos represent 18.9 percent of the total U.S. population, the nation's second largest ethnic group.  And in Houston, Latinos represent 44.5 percent of the population.

Join the Latinos in Architecture (LiA) Committee for the second in a series of intimate conversations engaging leadership from firms of different sizes on their efforts to increase that percentage, empower their Latino employees, develop and support a pipeline of future Latino architects from high schools and colleges, and giving a voice to Latinos.

This conversation will focuses on managing principals of medium sized firms, James Harrison, AIA (HarrisonKornberg Architects), Ricardo Martinez, AIA (Martinez Architects) and Lori Westrick, AIA (RDLR). These leaders will discuss managing a mid-size firm, their values on hiring practices and how they maintain a culturally diverse firm and staff.

Happy Hour to follow.

About the panel:

James Harrison, AIA
James has over 30 years of experience in architecture with a focus on education, aviation, civic/cultural and religious assembly projects. As a Houston native, James grew up experiencing the works of many great architects in his hometown. However, it was the work of one architect in particular that influenced his decision to pursue architecture as a career – John S. Chase. Chase was the first Black architect to receive an architecture license in the state of Texas, started the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), and became a mentor to James as he pursued his dream of architecture.

In 2003, James teamed with Daniel Kornberg to found HarrisonKornberg Architects. As Co-founder and Principal, James uses his inner sense of purpose and community service to guide him as he strives “to create an environment that is going to have a positive effect on the world that we live in.” Some of his project-based responsibilities include team organization and assembly, contract review and negotiations, project scheduling, delivery methods, and staffing. He has been actively involved in the delivery of commercial and institutional buildings, airports and aviation facilities, K-12 education, higher education, public assembly and religious projects. James also takes a special interest in the business development side of the business. He loves working with stakeholders and the design team at large to create buildings that best serve their communities.

Ricardo Martinez, AIA
Founding member of Martinez Architects and Latinos in Architecture – Houston.  Having develop Martinez Architects as a nationally award winning Architectural firm has provided an opportunity to pursue a passion for serving the architectural community.  As a founding member of LiA, Ricardo has had the opportunity to participate in the development of initiatives to mentor and provide learning and financial opportunities for the next generation of architects. 

Martinez Architects maintains a presence in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio focusing within the public sector.  Ricardo is able to work aside first responders that serve their communities.  With over 100 Public Safety Facilities designed in the past 8 years, and over 200 facilities in his career, Ricardo has become sought out for his expertise in the latest design strategies to create an environment that promotes the health and wellness of first responders.

Lori Westrick, AIA
Lorie Westrick AIA, is the managing principal of RDLR Architects, a Latino-owned firm focused on public sector projects. She has served as principal since 2001 during which time, the firm earned over 35 awards including AIA Houston and TSA firm awards.  

Lorie has extensive experience in all areas of architectural design and planning. Her portfolio includes, low-income housing, educational facilities, transit projects, streetscapes, and corporate interiors. She also is responsible for the design of numerous award-winning Not-for-Profit projects, including SER JOBS, Houston Food Bank and the Houston Eternal Gandhi Museum.  Her success in these projects stems from her conviction that the built environment can have social impact and that architecture can enable and promote positive change.

RDLR is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year!