ST. LOUIS — In St. Louis Ranken Technical College recently welcomed Kimberly Dowdell, President of the American Institute of Architects, for a special event.

Dowdell, who is the first African American woman to hold this position, spoke to students at the college about her unique journey as the 100th President of the AIA, focusing on her role as the first Black woman and Millennial in this leadership position. Her talk centered on her experiences as a minority architect and her mission to promote diversity within the field.

After her presentation with Tony Raya, a Ranken alum and technical principal at the renowned architecture firm HOK, Dowdell engaged in a conversation with the audience members and students who attended and took photos with them. Following the presentation, Ranken students showcase designs by junior and senior architecture students at Ranken. 

Photo by Liz DowellPhoto by Liz DowellPhoto by Liz Dowell

These designs focused on the future of infrastructure in St. Louis, featuring innovative concepts for the St. Louis Gateway South District and community parks that integrated with surrounding neighborhoods.