A Look Behind the Names of the 2023 United States Artists’ Architecture and Design Fellows


Each year, the United States Artists awards $50,000 to selected artists for their cultural contributions; these artists are from a variety of industries, including design, architecture, writing, social activism, and more. This year, 45 artists received Fellow titles, four of which were from the Architecture and Design Discipline. Who are these architecture and design Fellows and what helped them earn their noble titles this year?

The recipients include Dr. Alexis Hope of Seattle and Cambridge, Bryan C. Lee Jr. from New Orleans, Krystal C. Mack from Baltimore, and Deanna Van Buren from Oakland. One of the common trends seen in the work these artists and designers have done focuses on diversity and reformation. Architect Deanna Van Buren is a prime example of this; she has built peacemaking centers, mobile reentry housing, behavioral health centers, and more to focus on restorative justice for the social inequities of mass incarceration.

What are some of the other roles these architecture and design Fellows have played in shaping U.S. culture? And how are other professional architects reacting to the Fellows’s picks? Lionel Scharley, president at Scharley Designer Studio, Inc. and strategic architectural advisor for Real Estate Bees, speaks about the cultural and innovative diversity these Fellows are providing.

Lionel Scharley’s Thoughts:

“The 2023 Artists’ Architecture and Design Fellowship is definitely focusing on diversity. Diversity in terms of their project, diversity in terms of their culture, and diversity in terms of innovation. They’re focusing on the community-based project to develop new type of buildings, specifically dedicated to their communities and developing new neighborhoods.”

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