Lecture: Sharon Sutton
Dr. Sharon Sutton discusses her most recent book, When Ivory Towers were Black: A Story about Race in America's Cities and Universities. Dr. Sutton is a professor of architecture and urban design, adjunct professor of social work, and director of the Center for Environment Education and Design Studies (CEEDS) at the University of Washington, where she has been on the faculty since 1998. She became an architectural educator in 1975, having taught at Pratt Institute, Columbia University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Michigan where she became the first African American woman to become a full professor in an accredited architectural degree program.
Sutton's focus is community-based participatory research and design with a special emphasis on low-income and minority youth and other disenfranchised populations. Her research has been funded by the Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Tukwila School District, the University of Michigan, and University of Washington, among others.
Sutton is author of Weaving a Tapestry of Resistance: The Places, Power and Poetry of a Sustainable Society (Bergin and Garvey, 1996) and Learning through the Built Environment (Irvington, 1985), author of numerous book chapters and journal articles, and co-editor of The Paradox of Urban Space: Inequality and Transformation in Marginalized Communities (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
Sutton is also a noted printmaker and collagist. Her fine art has been exhibited in and collected by galleries and museums, business enterprises, colleges, and universities, and is part of the Robert Blackburn Collection at the Library of Congress.
A registered architect, Sutton was the second African American woman elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects in 1995. The ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) honored Sutton with the ACSA Distinguished Professor Award in 1995-96. Sutton received the "Life Recognition Award" from the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2011 Sutton received the national American Institute of Architects Whitney M. Young, Jr., Award. AIA Seattle awarded Sutton the AIA Seattle Medal, the chapter's highest award, in 2014.