Latinos in Architecture (LiA), a committee within the San Antonio chapter of The American Institute of Architects (AIA), is accepting entries for its Hispanic Heritage month exhibition titled NEXO, which means “link” in Spanish.
Professionals, designers and students are encouraged to submit their architectural work, which will be on display at the AIA Center for Architecture at 1344 S Flores St #102 from Sept. 7-Oct. 12. There will be an opening ceremony on Sept. 7 from 6-8 p.m.
The San Antonio LiA Committee was established in 2014, and there also are LiA committees in the Dallas, Austin and San Francisco AIA chapters.
Adrianna Swindle, San Antonio LiA co-chair, said that before 2014, members of the San Antonio AIA felt that although Latinos are in the majority in San Antonio, they are underrepresented in architecture and design.
The national AIA reported that in 2011 only three percent of licensed architects in the United States are of Hispanic heritage. LiA works to bring awareness to Hispanic architects and designers and to strengthen professional relationships in the field.
“Latino architects and design professionals are still in the minority,” Swindle said in a phone interview. “But we wanted to establish a community in our local environment and San Antonio as a whole. We also wanted people in school to know that they can feel inspired and motivated to be in this profession.”
The first San Antonio LiA exhibit was held in September 2014 and drew more than 40 professional submissions and 75 opening night attendees. Swindle said that the committee got the idea for the Hispanic Heritage month exhibit from a similar event put on by the Dallas chapter.
“They have a similar format, but we kind of took it and made it our own. It runs for the whole month, so it’s a huge event with lots of participation,” Swindle said. “We feature the 20 best entries of best professional work and we have two running slideshows of student work – both college students and high school students through ACE mentoring.”
Many Latin countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, and Mexico, celebrate their independence in September. LiA committees around the U.S. celebrate the month with exhibitions featuring work of local Latino architects and designers.
The committee is guided by three established focus principals: education, professional relationships, and community. Swindle said that the committee is involved with various community organizations and volunteer efforts, such as an annual book drive for local schools.
Editor’s note: The previous version of this article misstated the opening night of the exhibit. The correct opening date is Sept. 7.
Top image: Latinos in Architecture host the 2014 “NEXO” exhibit at the AIA San Antonio Center for Architecture. Photo by Iris Dimmick.