Student Profile: Jelani Lowe (MArch '19)

Published March 8, 2019

Jelani Lowe is interested in the intersection of architecture and empowerment of disadvantaged populations.

Master of Architecture student Jelani Lowe is interested in the intersection of architecture and empowerment of disadvantaged populations.

Jelani Lowe is in the final semester of the 3.5-year Master of Architecture program at UB, where he earned his bachelor's degree in environmental design. 

His interest in how the built environment has the potential to empower the disadvantaged, and seemingly forgotten, emerged during his undergraduate studies. Experiences like working with the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning on the redevelopment of a property located in the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor and an internship at HBS Realtors in Mumbai, India were influential in forming his thoughts on the importance of Architecture in the public realm.

This design ideology has motivated Lowe's graduate work. In his first year in the MArch program, Lowe and design partner Frank Kraemer, also a MArch student, entered into their first design competition. Their entry, “BLOOM,” was awarded an Honorable mention in the 2017 Future Micro-House competition and was published on future-house.org. In 2018, Lowe and Kraemer received the Graduate Design Excellence Award in Architecture. Lowe's project for a UB Music School, which explored many of the same questions regarding the role of architecture and emerging social trends, was published in Intersight 20, the school's journal of student work.

Inspired by the fall 2018 exhibition of PLUVIOUS in the Situated Technologies Research Group, Lowe and Kraemer are working on a project that explores biometric interactive architecture through an installation they call SYNC. 

Lowe also holds a number of support roles for the school, including as student assistant for Architectural Media, and research assistant for the Center of Architecture and Situated Technologies. He also works as an assistant architectural drafter for New Phase Electrical, and a graphic designer for Avak Multimedia Management.

As he considers graduation, Lowe intends to form his own practice to investigate the implications of design as a medium for empowerment.

The School of Architecture and Planning's "Celebrating Black History, Investing in Black Futures" campaign, to continue throughout February as Black History Month, will shine a spotlight on the accomplishments and activities of our Black faculty, alumni, staff and students. The campaign will also recognize critical research and programs that celebrate the Black experience.

Note: We continue to have stories to share and so have extended our campaign through March.

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