August 7, 2020
Pascale Sablan, Executive Director of Beyond the Built Environment and Senior Associate at S9ARCHITECTURE.

Teaming up to amplify diverse voices in design, Rice Design Alliance (RDA) and Beyond the Built Environment (BBE) are proud to announce their partnership through BBE’s SAY IT WITH - MEdia initiative and RDA’s Cite magazine.

SAY IT WITH - MEdia challenges collaborators to commit their publication to racial diversity and equity through a Memorandum of Understanding that encourages publicly shared metrics, ranging from annually increasing the percentage of diverse designers featured in a publication until 15% is achieved to creating content about Black experiences to help educate how architecture is used as a tool to facilitate oppression.  

Founded by its Executive Director Pascale Sablan, Senior Associate at S9ARCHITECTURE, BBE elevates the identities and contributions of women and diverse designers through exhibitions, curated lectures, and documentaries that testify to the provided value of their built work and its spatial impact.

Several campaigns, including SAY IT WITH - MEdia, comprise the broader SAY IT LOUD initiative—a traveling activation that elevates the work and identities of diverse designers of a local community. BBE has elevated and proclaimed the greatness of 250 women and diverse designers through 15 SAY IT LOUD exhibitions to date. 

“Representation matters and historically media publications have neglected our stories, our contributions, and in some cases erased our existence. Beyond the Built Environment is proud of the collaboration with Rice Design Alliance to begin dismantling this injustice. The hope is that the bravery displayed by RDA inspires other publications to make the commitment as well," said Sablan.

Recognizing an opportunity to engage with BBE’s important mission, RDA is proud to partner on the SAY IT WITH MEdia initiative.

“We are really pleased to join forces with Pascale and her tireless and energetic work to continue improving RDA and Cite’s ongoing commitment to represent more and more voices in our community – the stories we write about and who writes about them are at the core of addressing racial equity in architectural writing,” said RDA Executive Director Maria Nicanor.

Jack Murphy, editor of Cite, added “I’m happy for Cite to join in this important commitment. It’s meaningful not only in terms of the subjects and projects that Cite features, but also when thinking about the voices who tell these stories. Continuing to diversify representations of greatness in design is essential work for architectural publications moving forward.”

About RDA

Rice Design Alliance is the public programs and outreach arm of Rice Architecture. We curate public programs, architecture tours, design competitions and publications that communicate the importance of design in our everyday lives and its ability to make our lives better. We are based at and work from the Rice Architecture school as an advocacy group that believes that multidisciplinary and research-based design can improve our cities and the way we live in them. 

RDA was established within Rice Architecture in 1972 by the school's first dean, David Crane, together with alumni and other civic-minded community members who believed that quality design thinking should be available to all in our community and that Houston’s citizens – experts and non-experts alike – should feel empowered to act and transform our city through design.