Bullock honored for building bridges to social change. 

Gabrielle Bullock (Courtesy of Perkins and Will, photo by Noah Pylvainen, Communication Resources)

At 12 years old, Gabrielle Bullock traveled through New York City on public transportation. She remembers the contrast between homes and surrounding buildings as she snaked through the big apple and stared out the window on the subway and bus. Traveling through New York was like passing through different worlds and it was the earliest flicker of light leading Bullock to her calling in Architecture.

Today, she is the 2020 recipient of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award. Gabrielle’s journey to this achievement revealed her ability to see the deeper necessity for a place of being is in the human heart. As principal director of global diversity at the Perkins and Will Architect firm, she has built social bridges crossing multiple platforms; In conjunction with creating projects that are responsive to the needs of LA. Being part of the .2% of licensed African American Women Architects in this country, Gabrielle’s presence curates an unapologetic narrative that symbolizes a new dawn in a male dominated field.  The American Institute of Architecture acknowledges the heart in Gabrielle’s work, and celebrates the foundation she  is laying down for the future.

The blueprint outlining Gabrielle’s career path was drawn up in middle school, the notion to pursue architecture came from one of her teachers. Encouraged In her youth, she also felt the impact of seeing run down areas while she traveled through her city. The seed for a career in constructive design was nourished with her core passion of improving lives within the African American communities. Finishing up her preliminary studies, Gabrielle went on to graduate from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Bullock secured her spot at the firm, Perkins and Will. Starting out in New York she transitioned to Los Angeles region. She became the first African American woman to elevate to a managing director position. For over three decades, Gabrielle has brought prosperity and growth to the company and L.A. community. Under her leadership, there are projects geared towards communal growth, healthcare, and mentorship. She and her team face the national crisis of Homelessness in LA. They are involved in alternative housing programs such as DOME, a modular sleeping unit and the TINY HOME study. Building the LA community spirit, Gabrielle carries out plans of pride for the city of L.A. such as an outdoor cultural experience destination that takes place in the heart of Crenshaw that is a visual celebration of  the community in L.A.

Gabrielle Bullock (Courtesy of Perkins and Will, photo by Christine Joo, Secret Agent PR)

Gabrielle has designed programs that are active solutions to socially charged issues. Being a woman of color in a male dominated field, Gabrielle’s presence distinguishes the change in the Architect world. To channel more diversity within the workforce, she has established a pipeline that unites Perkins and Will with a program for young girls interested in this structured art form. The main purpose is to demystify any fallacies about the profession or that it’s only suitable for men to do. With her goal set on equality and balance of gender in roles of seniority, Gabrielle is laying a foundation down for women to excel in this profession just as she did.

The Whitney M. Young Jr. Award was created to achieve diversity and intentional change within the social structure of AIA. Recipients of this award embody social responsibility within their life’s work and consistently look for ways to empower community growth.  Through this merit, Gabrielle will join the legacy of those before her that have dedicated 50 years of rising consciousness developing in civic contributions within her profession. Due to her passion for equality among any race or gender; The American Architect Institute salutes her commitment to the journey to an equitable future in the architectural industry and beyond.