Janaya Hart

Elkus Manfredi Architects

As a talented young architect, Janaya Hart, AIA LEED AP BD+C, is driven by two goals - creating a more viable path to the field of architecture for young people of color and maximizing architecture's impact on sustainable development.

At a time when black women represent only 0.4 percent of the 91,000 licensed architects, Janaya is committed to successfully expanding diversity in the profession. From building early awareness about opportunities in architecture and guiding students to schools with undergraduate programs in architecture to providing technical information that makes licensure easier, Janaya is reaching out to young people to provide them with insights that make architecture a more viable career choice. Janaya notes that she wished someone had offered her practical advice early on (such as logging internships for licensure purposes) and she has vowed to both be that person for other young students and to encourage the industry to better those communicating those details.

Ultimately, Janaya expects to leverage her involvement in recruitment and organizations, such as the National Organization of Minority Architects, to improve how, when and to whom architects communicate about the field, in order to diversify the pool of individuals successfully navigating the requirements to become a licensed architect.

Janaya's work on sustainable developments reinforces the benefits of having a diversity of perspectives engaged in the field. Janaya envisions creating projects that are not only ecologically sound, but economically affordable and community-centered, appealing to a broader demographic of residents. By taking advantage of basic technologies and building techniques (such as modular construction), projects that are energy efficient, climate resilient, and resource efficient can also be affordable and accessible to all.

Focused on two of the most important issues of our time diversity and sustainability Janaya will have a long-term impact on both the field and practice of architecture.