• International Women's Day: Salute to Lynda Haith, Michigan's First Black Woman Architect

    Lynda Haith - the first Black woman to graduate from Lawrence Technological University and the first Black woman to be licensed an Architect in Michigan - received the 2021 Gold Medal by the Grand Rapids chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The Gold Medal is the highest honor AIA bestows, recognizing those who've had a lasting influence on the profession.

    When we (Saundra Little, FAIA and Karen A.D. Burton) were dreaming of becoming Architects and planning our education and careers, we never imaged that there were so few African American women who'd traveled similar paths.
  • 02.11.2022 Newsletter: Part 1 - Never in our wildest dreams...

    We shared so many stories and interview several architects and professional over the past year. This Black History Month, we're revisiting the highlights of 2021 and invite you to join us on our new exciting journey, including a podcast and book in the works. Make sure you're part of our community on social media, and share using the hashtag #HiddenInPlainSite
  • Architecture Legends and the Importance of Nathan Johnson (1925 - 2021)

    Nathan Johnson has rockstar status with us. Saundra and I started our Noir Design Parti project in 2016 to research the history and chronicle the work of Black Architects in Detroit. Mr. Johnson was the last living of our then list of nine Trailblazers – the first generation of Black Architects licensed to practice in Michigan.

    His love for modern architecture came from his internal fight against colonial architecture's history of oppression of Black Americans in the South. He designed over 30 churches in the mid-century modern style across metro Detroit.

  • Hidden In Plain Site

    Never in our wildest dreams did we think we'd end up here. We both love architecture and enjoy the camaraderie with architects and designers. "I don't know any Black architects," we'd hear people say. Making the invisible visible became our mission. 
  • The impactful legacy of Detroit architect Nathan Johnson

    Karen Burton and Saundra Little talk with April Baer, host of Stateside on Michigan Radio, about architect Nathan Johnson's lasting impact on Detroit and the architecture community.
  • Noir Design Parti Detroit Black Architects Exhibit & Panel online 6-7:30 pm this Thursday Nov. 18

    Press Release by Live6 Alliance Noir Design Parti Detroit Black Architects Exhibit & Panel online 6-7:30 pm this Thursday Nov. 18 McNichols Ow...
  • Noir Design Parti Storefront Exhibit at West McNichols in Detroit

    After wrapping up the National Organization of Minority Architects 50th Homecoming Conference which included our pilot Architects BUILD Wiki Edit-a...
  • Organizations discuss preserving Detroit's African American history

    Over half-century after the 1967 uprising, black historians often still feel out of place in the archive world. Noir Design Parti connected with other organizations to discuss why preserving Detroit's African American history is crucial.
  • It's a Website Launch Party

    Wednesday, August 12 at 9 a.m., Noir Design Parti launched our new site where we're storytelling and sharing the work of Michigan's Black architects.

    Thank you to our website Sponsors and Contributors:





    Christa Azar Amy Elliott Bragg 
    Ara Howrani Kiana Wenzell



  • Noir Design Parti - Wins Digital Detroit Grant

    Noir Design Parti is one of 100 businesses that are to participating in a 5-week website accelerator. Mayor Mike Duggan and the City of Detroit has...
  • Podcast - Architecture is Political interview Noir Design Parti

    Noir Design Parti interviewed by Mellisa Daniels about our research of Detroit's Blacks Architects. 


  • A Brief History of Black Architects in Detroit presented by AIA Detroit

    The Detroit Chapter of the American Institute of Architects presents Noir Design Parti's Brief History of Black Architects in Detroit, Monday February 18, 2018 at 6 p.m.