photo of Martin Luther King monument in NOLA

Honoring Black History Through Architecture

Creating advertisements inside LAM (Landscape Architecture Magazine), has sparked our admiration of the impactful world of this industry. In LAM's August 2020 issue, titled “A Plague x Two”, we learned about M. Austin Allen III, a decorated black designer whose projects included Hayden Plaza in New Orleans.

M. Austin Allen III has been instrumental on recovery projects (post-Katrina) in New Orleans, a city with historic beauty that is heavily and unapologetically influenced by black culture. Sites such as The Hayden Plaza, which celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, are essential to American society and history. These sites appropriately remind us to never forget the struggles and triumphs of racial injustice, past and present.

Also mentioned in the magazine is Architect June Grant, head of the studio blinkLAB. Grant has positioned her studio to cater to the landscape needs of communities, and has answered the consistently asked request to help revive African American cultural spaces which have been gentrified.

Although Grant is concerned about the continued economic impact on black communities during this time, there is a silver lining with regard to improving public spaces for these communities. She mentions that due to the effects of the pandemic and the matter of police violence (and cohesion of the two issues), foundations are more open to listening and providing increased funding for black communities who have been asking for assistance, many years prior.


"The profession of Landscape Architecture has also decided what culture is the important culture."

- Diane Jones Allen, FASLA, LAM August 2020


Author: Jan C. Smith

*No direct affiliation with LAM, ASLA or FASLA.

Info provided by LAM's August 2020 issue.