Hidden In Plain Site - Episode One: "Audacity" - Kimberly Dowdell
Kimberly Dowdell is a licensed architect and frequent speaker on the topic of architecture, leadership, diversity, sustainability and the future of cities. In her recently completed term as the 2019-2020 national president of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), she worked closely with her board of directors and staff to increase opportunities for women and people of color to gain more equitable access to the building professions.
She also more than doubled the organization’s membership and significantly raised NOMA’s profile during her two-years in office. Kimberly’s career aspirations are rooted in her upbringing in Detroit, where she was initially driven to utilize architecture as a tool to revitalize cities. She earned her Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University and her Master of Public Administration at Harvard University. Her professional experience has spanned from architecture to government and teaching to real estate development.
Kimberly is currently a Principal in the Chicago studio of HOK, a leading global design firm. She co-founded the SEED Network in 2005 and has been a LEED accredited professional since 2007. In 2022, Kimberly was elected to serve as the 2024 National President of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). She was also elected to the Cornell University Board of Trustees. Kimberly’s overarching mission is to improve people’s lives, by design.
Detroit City of Design Spotlight
Cranbrook Schools is a private, PK–12 preparatory school located on a 319-acre (129 ha) campus in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The schools comprise a co-educational elementary school, a middle school with separate schools for boys and girls, and a co-educational high school with boarding facilities. Cranbrook Schools is part of the Cranbrook Educational Community (CEC), which includes the Cranbrook Institute of Science, the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and Cranbrook House and Gardens. (Nearby Christ Church Cranbrook remains outside this formal structure.) The Cranbrook community was established by publishing mogul George Booth, who bought the site of today's Cranbrook community in 1904. Cranbrook was designated a National Historic Landmark on June 29, 1989 for its significant architecture and design. It attracts tourists from around the world. Approximately 40 acres (160,000 m2) of Cranbrook Schools' campus are gardens.
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