be excused for thinking that this is yet another
South African invention or the prodigal offshoot of
the Black Architects Association.
But no, although
South Africa remains an African country where black
architects are a minority within the profession,
there is no need for such a mechanism as the
minority already controls and regulates the
That in itself is an
interesting point but not the subject of this text.
The National Organization of Minority Architects is
a particular concept born out of the need to
exist professionally in an elitist and racist
society; the United States of America.
NOMA's Mission is
"NOMA, which thrives only when voluntary members contribute their time and resources, has as its mission the building of a strong national organization, strong chapters and strong members for the purpose of minimizing the effect of racism in our profession.
Strength in NOMA is built through unity in the cause that created the organization. Our impact is felt when our organization wrestles with the dilemmas that face this nation, particularly as they affect our profession. There is strength in numbers. By increasing the number of people in this organization, we add strength to the voice with which
we can speak against apathy, bigotry, intolerance and ignorance; against abuse of the natural environment; and for the un-empowered, the marginalized and the
This year NOMA
celebrates its 30th Anniversary. In commemoration it
is holding a Convention.
"One of my objectives this year was to focus on the realities of how technology has connected us globally. Reaching out to architects in any locale in the world, to see their work, and come to understand the struggles and success in the areas where they live is now just a "mouse click away" - hence the themes of this year's conference, "Globalization' and "United We Design."
My goal is to reach out to professional international design organizations with interests and concerns similar to NOMA (To whom ever and where ever this newsletter finds itself please accept this as an "Invitation" for us "To Meet", and for you to come out and join us! ). If you would like to participate in our conference this year by giving a lecture, holding a workshop or seminar, or introducing your organization to our membership, you will find a worksheet on our web site for you to down load, complete and fax to us.
NOMAS, the student component of NOMA will have the opportunity this year to participate in a design competition during the conference. The project is a new Cultural Arts Center that is to be built in Lauderhill, a small, predominately black city adjacent to Fort Lauderdale. Ideas garnered from the winning competition scheme may be used in the final design for the project."
students in South Africa should take a look at the
Architectural Competition which is currently under
way as part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations.
There is a first prize of US$1,000 - the catch is
that you have to join NOMAS, which only costs US$30
and is a very small price to pay for an erstwhile
cause which offers many benefits.
As architects of
Africa we should extend our interest over the
Atlantic and support our brothers and colleagues in
America in their endeavour to fight racism and
bigotry. After all, we should know...
aspect of the NOMA celebrations tie up with last
week's "free advice" from M.Souza to
Malcom Campbell regarding the method of awakening
architects' interest in organisational matters.
Let's take a leaf
from NOMA's book;
"A recent online survey has indicated a significant number of our members would like to commemorate our 30th anniversary and honor our founders by returning to Nassau, Bahamas on a Cruise.
Therefore we have changed the normal days of our Convention (Thursday-Sunday) to allow for a four (4) day Cruise and Celebration. The Cruise will take place Friday, October 18th thru Monday, October 21st.