Celestial Citizen Ep. #110: Black Architectural Aesthetics on Earth and in Space with Demar Matthews
As we look toward the not-so-distant reality of life on the Moon, Mars, and beyond, an important question emerges — how do we build structures and cities in space that reflect the diverse population and cultures of our planet? On this week’s episode, we’ll discuss an approach to architectural design that specifically celebrates and pays homage to uniquely Black experiences and cultures. Demar Matthews and his firm, OffTop Design, are engaging Black communities in the planning process such that they are better represented in their built environment, and in so doing, might better inform how we design and build future structures and cities in space someday.
My guest on the show, Demar Matthews, is a Los Angeles-based architectural designer, theorist, and writer. Demar is the founder and Principal of OffTop Design. He also works with A+D Architecture + Design Museum in Los Angeles as a curator and exhibitions associate. Demar received his Bachelor’s from HBCU Lincoln University of PA, and his Master’s of Architecture at Woodbury University where he was awarded the Graduate Thesis Prize for his project Black Architecture: Unearthing the Black Aesthetic. Demar believes architecture and good design should not only be for the privileged and feels that, “every community deserves to be proud of the built environment around them, and that this environment should be based on the cultures of the people who live there; regardless of income, race, and gender.”