Sharon Haar, a professor of architecture at Taubman College, has been appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Architects Foundation. She will serve for a three-year term beginning in 2022.
The Architects Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), inspires and invests in the next generation of architects creating inclusive spaces, places, and communities. The foundation hosts programs and exhibits with the design community, in addition to providing architecture scholarships and professional development grants.
“I am really excited to join the board of the Architects Foundation as they continue to pivot their work in support of growing the diversity and social impact of architecture through student scholarships,” Haar said. “There are difficult but important stories, hidden in plain sight, to be told about the painful legacies of the profession, and the foundation is using its home at the historic Octagon building in Washington, D.C. — built by enslaved people — as a location to center this conversation.”
Haar’s research investigates the role of entrepreneurship, design innovation, and global networking in architectural practices committed to social activism and humanitarian relief. Haar is especially interested in what she terms “social activist networks in architecture,” which joins architects with social movements, nongovernmental organizations, and other groups to work toward sustainable solutions. Her work and creative practice span social justice-related issues in cities all over the world.
As part of her leadership in shaping architecture education on a national scale, Haar also holds a four-year term on the board of directors of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Haar will serve as president next year, where she will continue to advance issues of social justice within architecture education in order to shape the future of the profession.
Also a leader within the University of Michigan, Haar is the past chair of Taubman College’s architecture program and currently is principal investigator of the Collective for Equitable Housing, an interdisciplinary collective of U-M faculty working on housing and urban communities. Their public-facing platform will be the first for U-M to study housing holistically as a think tank, building upon cross-campus relationships and partnerships with external organizations.