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KPF Celebrates Pride 2019

The firm celebrated Pride 2019 throughout the month of June with the launch of KPF Pride, a partnership with Build Out Alliance, and multiple internal events.

On June 6, KPF Pride, a new KPF community, kicked off its inaugural Pride month by hosting Build Out Alliance for an evening presentation, followed by a happy hour. KPF Pride opened the event with remarks from President James von Klemperer and Associate Director of Human Resources Joel Peterson, who announced KPF’s sponsorship of Build Out Alliance. Speakers discussed how the organization engages with, and advocates for, LGBTQ+ professionals within the architectural, engineering, and construction industry. The following social event included a special gallery wall dedicated to Pride 2019, the sale of KPF Pride apparel and a raffle, with all proceeds going to Hope in a Box.

On June 20, KPF Pride hosted a panel discussion that addressed what it means to design inclusively, to aspire towards a more responsive practice, and to identify opportunities to achieve these goals. The invited panelists included:

  • Joel Sanders FAIA, Principal of JSA and Professor at Yale School of Architecture, who is collaborating with transgender historian and theorist Susan Stryker on a design/research initiative to create an economical and viable prototype for safe, practical gender-neutral bathrooms that will foster diversity;
  • Rubén Gutiérrez, co-chair of Queer Students of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (QSAPP), a student organization at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) that aims to foster both conversation and community among LGBTQ students, their allies, faculty, and alumni of GSAPP; and
  • KPF Principal Hana Kassem AIA, who teaches as adjunct faculty at Parsons, formulating studio topics that focus an experiential engagement with our environment, wellness, and resiliency within approaches that address marginalized communities.

Rutger Huiberts, a KPF Senior Associate Principal, moderated the discussion. Huiberts pulled from his experience working a wide range of KPF projects at all scales, as well as his own speculative design work, which has been featured in several exhibitions including at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York, at the Istanbul Design Biennial in 2016, and at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2016 and 2018.

KPF Pride and members of the KPF team will march in this year’s NYC Pride March on June 30 alongside Build Out Alliance and fellow members of the LGBTQ community and their allies.

About KPF Pride

Comprised of a cross section of the KPF community, KPF Pride works together to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues within the firm in ways that will inform design thinking. The group meets regularly to discuss topics related to inclusivity in design and organizes educational tours and outings, schedules guest speakers and panel discussions, and hosts charitable social events within the office. KPF Pride also supports LGBTQ+ members of the architectural, engineering, and construction community through a partnership with Build Out Alliance.

About Build Out Alliance

Build Out Alliance promotes and advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people serving openly and with pride in all roles within the building design and construction industry. Members strive to make the industry more welcoming to LGBTQ professionals, leading by example in their own work environments and through partnerships with community organizations.

About Hope in a Box

Hope in a Box works with educators and administrators to make LGBT-inclusion a reality. In collaboration with 40 professors from 15 universities, the nonprofit designed the definitive primer in LGBT literature for young adults; donating a set of 50 books to middle and high schools free of charge. Hope in a Box provides curriculum guides for selected texts, and for teachers looking to include an LGBT book in a lesson plan, and helps purchase copies for the full classroom. Through these initiatives, Hope in a Box aims to cultivate the accepting environments students need to succeed, school by school.