I Am AIA:
Margaret Knight AIAExpand
Margaret grew up in Upstate New York and attended Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning in 2012. Margaret spent a summer abroad working with Kounkuey Design Initiative to conduct participatory design workshops outside of Nairobi, Kenya. She relocated to Seattle shortly after and worked on single family residential projects with babienko ARCHITECTS for two years, followed by the affordable housing and community-focused work she is currently doing as part of Schemata Workshop. Margaret is also co-chair of AIA Seattle’s Diversity Roundtable (DRT) committee.
What is the value of being licensed to you? Why did you decide to get licensed?
A big part of why I decided to get licensed was to help fill the missing perspective from minorities in the profession. It’s no secret that there is a lack of African American licensed professionals and an even smaller amount of those individuals are women. As a young, Black woman it was important to me not only to be a part of this small group, but to also help join the charge in empowering others to do the same.
Additionally, I was interested in advancing my architectural career and getting licensed allowed me to become a more knowledgeable architect while also opening up professional opportunities outside of the office.
How long did it take you to complete the ARE?
What were some of your best strategies for studying and how did you strategize for any set-backs or struggles (if any)?
I work best with deadlines, so it was very helpful for me to sign up for the tests before I started studying for them. That helped me create a study plan, and gave me a goal to work backwards from.
How did your role change in your firm once you were licensed?
Besides changing my e-mail signature and now being able to avoid awkward conversations where I no longer struggle with how to introduce myself (designer? architectural intern? aspiring architect?), I am beginning to take on more of a leadership role on my projects.
Why did you join AIA Seattle?
I first joined AIA in order to connect with other minority architect’s through the Diversity Roundtable Committee. It serves as a platform for bringing together individuals from all aspects of the design profession that share the common goal of bettering the field for everyone. Being around those who are so invested in the greater architectural community is inspiring and encouraging.