Sharon E. Sutton
Sharon E. Sutton
|Alma mater||Manhattan School of Music, |
University of Hartford
City University of New York
|Institutions||Pratt Institute, |
University of Cincinnati,
University of Michigan,
University of Washington
Sharon Egretta Sutton (born 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is visiting professor at Parsons School of Design, adjunct professor at Columbia University, and professor emerita at the University of Washington, where she served on the faculty 1998–2016. She became an architecture educator in 1975, having taught at Pratt Institute, Columbia University, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Michigan where she became the first African American woman to become a full professor in an accredited architectural degree program.
Sutton was educated initially in music, studying French horn with Gunther Schuller at the Manhattan School of Music on full scholarship and latter at the University of Hartford. According to her at an interview, at age 5, she was compelled learn the piano because colored people were barred from going to the swimming pool, skating rink and movie theater. She eventually turned to the piano, where she would take lessons from her mother's church organist. taking lessons in the small apartment of the organist at my mother's church. After earning a B.Music in 1963, she worked as a professional musician in New York City, most notably for Sol Hurok Attractions and in the original cast of Man of La Mancha. She also performed at symphony orchestras, in Radio City Music Hall, on Broadway, and had over a thousand performances in Man of La Mancha.
In 1967, Sutton enrolled in Parsons School of Design and then Columbia University, where she was mentored by J. Max Bond, Jr. She earned her M.Arch. in 1973 and opened a private practice in 1976. In 1981, Sutton received her MA in psychology from Hunter College; in 1982, she received her MPhil and Ph.D. in psychology from the City University of New York.
Sutton's focus is community-based participatory research and design with a special emphasis on low-income and minority youth and other disenfranchised populations. Her research has been funded by the Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Tukwila School District, the University of Michigan, and University of Washington, among others.
Sutton is author of "When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in America's Cities and Universities"; Weaving a Tapestry of Resistance: The Places, Power and Poetry of a Sustainable Society; and Learning through the Built Environment. Additionally, she is author of numerous book chapters and journal articles, and is co-editor of The Paradox of Urban Space: Inequality and Transformation in Marginalized Communities.
Sutton is also a noted printmaker and collagist having studied graphic art in independent studios internationally. Her work has been exhibited in and collected by galleries and museums, business enterprises, colleges, and universities, and is part of the Robert Blackburn Collection at the Library of Congress.
A registered architect, Sutton was the twelfth African American woman to be licensed to practice architecture (1976), the first to be promoted to full professor of architecture (1994), and the second to be elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (1995). The ACSA (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture) honored Sutton with the ACSA Distinguished Professor Award in 1995–96. Sutton received the "Life Recognition Award" from the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1997 and the national American Institute of Architects Whitney M. Young, Jr., Award in 2011. In 2014 and 2017 respectively, she received the AIA Seattle Medal of Honor and the AIA New York Medal of Honor, the highest awards chapters can confer.
Dedicated to improving the living environments of disenfranchised populations, Sutton is currently ethnographic consultant to design studio instructors at Parsons School of Design. Most of Sutton's scholarship explores America's continuing struggle for racial justice.
Sutton's career as an architect started after she was granted license as an architect. She started practicing architecture and fine art on 5th Avenue loft. She started her teaching at Pratt Institute and Columbia University.
Sutton left the University of Columbia, New York for the University of Michigan where she became the first African American woman to become a full professor of architecture, the 2nd to be elevated to fellowship in the AIA, and the 1st to serve as president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board, concluding by being inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.
Sutton eventually accepted a professorship position at the University of Washington where she was a principal investigator of Ford Foundation study civic engagement by low – income youths, this work earned her an award as the second African American woman to be awarded the AIA Whitney M. Young, Jr. award.
During this period, Sutton served on the Seattle Design Commission and chaired the Capitol Hill Design Review Board. A move that earned her the American Institute of Architect, AIA, Seattle Chapter Community Service award and Medal of Honor award.
- Sutton, Sharon E., "When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in America's Cities and Universities," Fordham University Press, New York, 2017. ISBN 978-0-823-27612-7
- Sutton, Sharon E., and Kemp, Susan P., editors, The Paradox of Urban Space: Inequality and Transformation in Marginalized Communities, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2011 ISBN 978-0-230-10391-7
- Sutton, Sharon E., Weaving a Tapestry of Resistance: The Places, Power and Poetry of a Sustainable Society, Bergin and Garvey Publishers, Westport, 1996.
- Sutton, Sharon E., Learning through the Built Environment: An Ecological Approach to Child Development, Irvington Press, New York, 1985.
Book Chapters and Articles
Sharon E. Sutton (2015). Foreword; and Chapter eleven: reality-based learning in design studio education. In Carla Jackson Bell (Ed.), Space Unveiled (pp. xvi–xvii and pp,102–112). New York: Routledge Research in Architecture Series.
Sharon E. Sutton (2013, September). Special Issue "Designing Spaces for City Living" [Special Guest Editor], Buildings. [Open access available online at http://www.mdpi.com/journal/buildings/special_issues/designing_spaces_for_city_living].
Sharon E. Sutton (2011). Struggling for the right to housing: a critical analysis of the evolution of West Seattle's High Point. In The Paradox of Urban Space (pp. 29–51).
Sharon E. Sutton and Susan P. Kemp (2011). Introduction: place as marginality and possibility. In The Paradox of Urban Space, pp. 1–9.
Sharon E. Sutton and Susan P. Kemp (2011). Place: a site of social and environmental inequity. In The Paradox of Urban Space (pp. 13–28).
Sharon E. Sutton and Susan P. Kemp (2011). Place: a site of individual and collective transformation. In The Paradox of Urban Space (pp. 113–134).
Sharon E. Sutton and Susan P. Kemp (2011). Conclusions: Standing shoulder-to- shoulder in a place-conscious society. In The Paradox of Urban Space (pp. 259–265).
Sharon E. Sutton (2008). Engaging the public, seeking common ground; and Discovering the power of youth. In Nancy B. Solomon (ed.), Architecture: Celebrating the Past, Designing the Future (pp. 64–77;and pp. 84). New York: Visual Reference Inc.; Washington, DC: The American Institute of Architects.
Sharon E. Sutton (2007). A social justice perspective on youth and community development: theorizing the processes and outcomes of participation. Children, Youth, and Environments, 17 (2), 616–645. [Available online at: http://www.colorado. edu/journals/cye].
Sharon E. Sutton and Susan P. Kemp (2006, September). Integrated social science and design inquiry through interdisciplinary design charrettes: an approach to participatory community problem-solving. American Journal of Community Psychology, 38 (1–2), 125–139.
Sharon E. Sutton and Susan P. Kemp (2005). Children's participation in constructing a social just public sphere. In Mark Blades and Christopher Spencer (eds.), Children and Their Environments: Learning, Using, and Designing Spaces (pp. 256–276). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Sharon E. Sutton (2014, Spring). Review essay: can the ideals of public scholarship help resolve conflicts between urban universities and declining post-industrial communities? Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 96–101.
Sharon E. Sutton (2012, Fall). Review essay: can service-learning help restore the public university's role in safeguarding American democracy? Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 69–73.
Journalism and Commentaries
Sharon E. Sutton (2015, 31 January). New urban unlimited. Alternative-Talk 1150 KKNW, AM Radio.
Sharon E. Sutton (2012, 13 January). Listen to citizens on Virginia Mason expansion. Puget Sound Business Journal, Guest Opinion, Print Edition.
Sharon E. Sutton (2009, 5 June). Major institutions should not be immune from Seattle's pedestrian-friendly municipal code. The Seattle Times.
Sharon E. Sutton (2008, 10 July). Public needs to stay involved when development is reviewed. The Seattle Times, Local B9.
Sharon E. Sutton (2008, Winter). One man's quest for the everyday practice of architecture: honoring the legacy of Stephen A. Kliment, FAIA. Arcade, 47.
Sharon E. Sutton (2004, 30 July). Get youth involved in their communities: art activities help young people connect with their world. Seattle Post Intelligencer.
Academic Papers, Presentations, and Workshops
Sharon E. Sutton (7 October 2017). A case study from the Civil Rights Movement: when ivory towers were black. Panel presentation at the Organizing and Mobilizing Session of the Black in Design Conference at Harvard University Graduate School of Design in Cambridge, MA.
Sharon E. Sutton (5 October 2017). I'm blue but I won't be blue always. Lecture at the SCE Public Programs (Social and Environmental Resilience) at Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Sharon E. Sutton (15 September 2017). Inclusion in architecture: Getting beyond pipeline development. Panel presentation (at the ACSA/AAO 2017 Design Matters Conference in Chicago, IL.
Sharon E. Sutton (6 September 2017). When ivory towers were black: lessons in re-imagining universities and communities. Public lecture at the University of Southern California School of Architecture in Los Angeles, CA.
Also given on: (2017, 26 September) at the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning in Ann Arbor, MI.
Also given on: (2017 2 November) at the University of Pennsylvania City and Regional Planning Department in Philadelphia, PA.
Sharon E. Sutton (17 May 2017). Designers’ privileges and responsibilities. Speech at the SCE Recognition Ceremony at Parsons School of Design in New York City.
Sharon E. Sutton (23 February 2017). Book launch: When Ivory Towers Were Black. Panel discussion by Reinhold Martin and Mabel O. Wilson with State Senator Bill Perkins at the Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Sharon E. Sutton (16 March 2016). A vision for the future: realizing the promise of justice. Keynote lecture at the ACSA/AIA Housing and Community Development Workshop, 104th ACSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA.
Presentations in Professional and Public Settings
Sharon E. Sutton (2017, 25 October). Evolving role of research in architecture. Panel presentation at the AIANY Social Science and Architecture History Primer Session in New York City.
Sharon E. Sutton (2017, 18 August). Learning to conduct a chorus: community design charrettes as the stage for a broader voice. Lecture at the AIANY Civic Leadership Program in New York City.
Sharon E. Sutton (2017, 13 February). Oculus book talk: When Ivory Towers Were Black. Lecture with moderated discussion by Carol Lowenstein, FAIA, Center for Architecture in New York City.
Sharon E. Sutton (2016, 20 May). Panel presentation at Moving the Needle: Achieving Equity States with Architecture Schools, 2016 AIA National Convention in Philadelphia, PA.
Sharon E. Sutton (2015, 22 September). Workshop facilitation at ENCAMPED in Ballad: let's house the urban poor at the Seattle Design Festival 2015: Design for Equity, Seattle, WA.
Sharon E. Sutton (2015, 31 July). Panel presentation at Conversations with the Diaspora, Center for Architecture in New York City.
Sharon E. Sutton (2015, 14 May). Panel presentation at Community Engagement: Professional and Academic Collaboration, 2015 AIA National Convention in Atlanta, GA.
Sutton, Sharon E, (2014, 6 November). Panel presentation at the State of Design Education session at the Design Leadership Summit, United Nations and Industry City in New York City.
Sharon E. Sutton (2014, 2 October). Practice makes perfect: coaching emerging professionals in the arts of leadership. Luncheon keynote at AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Leadership Summit, University of Washington–Tacoma in Tacoma, WA.
Sharon E. Sutton (2014, 3 October). Alternatives to gentrification: can Hilltop's cultural heritage as a working-class community be preserved? Continuing education seminar for AIA Southwest Washington Chapter, Glass Museum in Tacoma, WA.
Sharon E. Sutton (2013, 25 October). Panel presentation at the American Institute of Architects Women's Leadership Summit, Hotel Palomar and Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, AR.
Sharon E. Sutton (2011, 17 June). Book reading and moderated discussion by Victoria Kaplan. Summer Solstice sponsored by AIA Seattle Diversity Roundtable, Miller Hull Architects in Seattle, WA.
Sharon E. Sutton (2011, 13 May). Whitney M. Young Jr. Award Forum with Jack Travis, FAIA. Continuing education seminar for the AIA National Convention in New Orleans, LA.
Awards and Honors
Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation Oculus
2017 American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter Medal of Honor Award
2014 American Institute of Architects, Seattle Chapter Medal of Honor Award
2011 American Institute of Architects (AIA) Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award
2006 American Architectural Foundation K-12 Architectural Education Award of Merit for CEEDS
2005 American Institute of Architects (AIA), Seattle Chapter Community Service Award
1999 Jeannette and David McKinley Fellowship
Faculty Research Support
1997 Michigan Women's Hall of Fame Life Recognition Award
1996 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture Distinguished Professor Award
1995 American Institute of Architects Elevation to Fellowship
1992 University of Michigan Regents Award for Distinguished Public Service
1991 American Planning Association Education Award for Teaching the Public about Planning
1989 UM School of Business Administration
First Round Award, National Zell Lurie Fellowship
19861989 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Group VII National Fellowship
1983 National Endowment for the Arts Design Research Recognition Award
ACSA American Collegiate Schools of Architecture College of Distinguished Professors (Founding Member)
AIA (American Institute of Architects) College of Fellows AIA New York Chapter (Medal of Honor) AIA New York Formerly AIA Seattle Chapter (Medal of Honor) AIA Washington
American Psychological Association
- MoMA. "Women in Architecture".
- "Teacher and Coach: Dr. Sharon Egretta Sutton on Discipline, Intellectual Leadership, and Being the First". Madame Architect. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
- Sutton, Sharon Egretta (February 2017). When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race and the Struggle to Transform Cities and Universities with Foreword by James Stewart Polshek. New York: Fordham University Press Empire State Editions.
- Sutton, Sharon E. (1996). Weaving a Tapestry of Resistance: The Places, Power, and Poetry of a Sustainable Society with Preface by Henri Giroux. Westport, CT: Bergin and Garvey Publishers. In Giroux and Freire (eds.), Critical Studies in Education and Culture Series.
- Sutton, Sharon E. (1985). Learning through the Built Environment: An Ecological Approach to Child Development. New York: Irvington Publishers.
- Sutton, Sharon E. and Kemp, Susan P. (eds.) (2011). The Paradox of Urban Space: Inequality and Transformation in Marginalized Communities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- ACSA Archives, Distinguished Professor Award winners.
- "Sharon Sutton". Columbia GSAPP. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
- "Sharon Egretta Sutton | Parsons School of Design". www.newschool.edu. Retrieved 2021-05-20.
- Sarah Akigbogun, "In Conversation … Sharon Egretta Sutton" Parlour, 6 October 2019
- AIA Seattle Honors Archive
- artdaily.org on Whitney M. Young Jr. Award