A.L. Hu, NOMA, NCARB, AIA, EcoDistricts AP, is a queer, trans, nonbinary Taiwanese-American architect, organizer, and facilitator. Their practice synthesizes organizing for racial, class, and gender justice with world-building and design; queers the architect’s role in facilitating accessible spaces; and manifests in design, visual media, and collaborative cultural work.
A.L. was a 2019-2021 Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, and they are currently the Design Initiatives Manager at Ascendant Neighborhood Development (AND), a nonprofit affordable housing developer in East Harlem. Their focus is building relationships through designing, prototyping, and refining resident engagement processes for AND’s current portfolio, as well as community outreach activities for AND’s pipeline projects. They also direct AND’s Public Art Initiative, which seeks to form partnerships with organizations and artists to incorporate public art into AND’s current and future developments, in recognition of the value of art in the neighborhood as a community asset historically rooted in activism and social justice. As an “in-house architect,” they assist with project design and management.
A.L. is a Core Organizer with Design as Protest (DAP), a Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian (BBIA) collective of designers mobilizing strategy to dismantle the privilege and power structures that use architecture and design as tools of oppression.
A.L. is also a Core Organizer with Dark Matter University (DMU), a democratic network of BBIA designers guided by the principle that we cannot survive and thrive without immediate change toward an anti-racist model of design education and practice. Through DMU, A.L. has taught at University at Buffalo, University of Michigan, and Van Alen Institute. DMU was spotlighted in 2021 by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture at a webinar titled, “Lessons in Anti-Racist Design Pedagogy.” DMU received a Special Citation Award from AIA New York in 2021.
A.L. facilitates Queeries, an initiative for and by LGBTQIA+ architects and designers that documents community members’ experiences of queerness in their personal lives, workplaces, and academic settings. Responses and stories are shared as educational tools and used for community discussions to probe, trouble, and better understand a wider range of the experiences of queer architects and designers today.
A.L. received an AIANY Emerging New York Architects ARE Scholarship in 2018. They earned a Master of Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture with a minor in Sustainable Design from University of California, Berkeley.