Shaping our physical environment, creating a sense of identity and place, and supporting economic development are but a few of the functional purposes of architecture. Architects play a critical role in providing places for people to live and work, improving the quality of human life and supporting the aesthetics within a designed environment. This year’s Global Black Impact Summit (GBIS) – taking place in Dubai on February 27, 2024 – will explore the achievements of Black architects and designers, whose work serves as a symbol of culture, society, and development.

Architects shape the world we live in, casting an emotional impact on people and changing our perception of space. Serving as the first Black architect to become a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1923, the work of Paul R. Williams resulted in his bestowment of the institution’s prestigious Merit Award for his design of the MCA building in Beverly Hills, California. Williams’ impressive oeuvre encompasses the design of the homes of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Lon Cheney, to name a few.

Centered around the theme, ‘Black Excellence: Unleashing the Unexplored Potential for Global Unity’, this year’s summit underscores the value of innovation, inspiration, and authenticity. Known for her lavish use of form, straddling the line between openness and utility, Norma Merrick Sklarek’s notable works include the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the Terminal One station at the Los Angeles International Airport. In addition to becoming the first woman licensed as an architect in New York and California, Sklarek became the first African American woman member of the AIA and the first to co-own an architectural firm.

As a medium, architecture provides designers an opportunity to express their artistry on a larger scale than other traditional artists. The accessibility and visibility of their work offers a greater influence on a wider population and for much longer a term. As such, the transcontinental scope of architect and designer, Pascale Sablan, includes notable buildings such as the Museum of the Built Environment in Saudi Arabia and the Bronx Point project in New York. Her work on commercial, cultural, and residential buildings has resulted in Sablan becoming the recipient of numerous awards including the 2018 Pratt Alumni Achievement Award, Emerging New York Architect Merit Award, and the NOMA Price for Excellence in Design.

Renowned for his innovative and sustainable architectural style, Burkinabe-German architect, Diébédo Francis Kéré became the first African to receive the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize. Kéré’s portfolio, which includes civic infrastructure and temporary installations, is notable for its innovative use of local resources and participatory design methods. His work includes the Gando Primary School in Burkina Faso, the National Park of Mali, and the Serpentine Pavilion in the UK. Kéré’s focus on social initiatives has been celebrated for embodying the values of the communities where he works, driven by a commitment to environmental understanding and service to humanity.

Architectural excellence and the influence of Black designers in the field will be a focus-point during this year’s GBIS event, which will highlight the contributions, achievements, and influence of Black architects from all over the world. The Summit will unite participants under the common goal of celebrating and supporting innovation and inclusivity in the realm of architecture, promoting equal opportunities and inspiration to Black creatives and trailblazers.

Global Black Impact Summit 2024

The Global Black Impact Summit is an annual event that seeks to celebrate the achievements of the Black community, promote excellence, and explore untapped potential across various fields. This year’s summit is set to be a transformative experience, featuring influential speakers, engaging panel discussions, and networking opportunities that encourage attendees to reach new heights. To secure your spot at this prestigious gathering, register promptly at