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Celebrating Pride Month at GSAPP

June 6, 2022
On the occasion of Pride Month, Columbia GSAPP is releasing a weekly series of LGBTQ+ alumni profiles whose work spans multiple disciplines across the globe. Scroll down to learn more about the work of Angelic Williams ‘13 MSRED, Ken Lustbader '93 MSHP, Charles Renfro ‘94 MSAAD, A.L. Hu ‘17 MArch and check back for additional profiles throughout June.
Angelic williams

Angelic Williams ‘13 MSRED

Angelic is an entrepreneur, startup ecosystem builder, and changemaker. She is the founder and CEO of MyUmbrella: an online platform that serves as a creative outlet for LGBTQ+ community members. Unlike other platforms, MyUmbrella invites community members who want to share their stories the opportunity to do so by joining a Writers Cohort. Their published work reminds us all that we’re not alone as we think we are.

Most recently, she was the senior program manager at StartOut, a national nonprofit that supports the LGBTQ+ entrepreneurial community by providing the resources entrepreneurs need to succeed, promoting the successes of our community, and researching the economic impacts of LGBTQ+ discrimination. During her tenure, she oversaw the program and expanded its reach by over 200%, and facilitated hundreds of investor introductions and exposure opportunities to LGBTQ+ founders in the U.S. and overseas.

She currently focuses her energy on independent passion projects while continuing to support the work of both underrepresented entrepreneurs and writers, including her position as a founding Advisory Council member for the Curve Foundation, an organization whose mission is to empower lesbians, queer women, trans people, and non-binary people to share our culture and stories, connect, and raise visibility.

She was the founding lead of the Black Women Talk Tech San Francisco Chapter and was selected to exhibit at the Forbes Under 30 conference in 2018. Before venturing into tech, she was an architectural designer for various civic buildings and the lead developer manager for affordable and workforce housing projects in the Bay Area and New York City. Angelic holds a Bachelor of Architecture from California College of the Arts and a Master of Real Estate Development from Columbia University.

Ken lustbader

Ken Lustbader ‘93 MSHP

Ken Lustbader is a co-director of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, the first cultural heritage initiative and educational resource to document historic sites connected to the LGBT community in New York City. For over 30 years, he has been exploring issues related to LGBT history, documentation, and historic preservation. His involvement in LGBT place-based history began in 1993 when he authored “Landscape of Liberation: Preserving Lesbian and Gay History in Greenwich Village,” for which he received the 1993 Outstanding M.S. Historic Preservation Thesis award at Columbia University. Soon after, he helped create the 1994 map “A Guide to Lesbian & Gay New York Historical Landmarks.” More recently, he co-authored the “LGBT History Tour, Greenwich Village, NYC” walking tour brochure and map, that highlights LGBT historic sites around Stonewall National Monument and guest-edited issue 8.2 (2019), LGBTQ Heritage, for Change Over Time: An International Journal of Conservation and the Built Environment.

Between 2007 and 2015, he served as Historic Preservation Program Director at the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Prior to that he was lead consultant for the Lower Manhattan Emergency Preservation Fund, which advocated for the conservation of in situ elements of the World Trade Center that are now integral components of the National 9/11 Memorial Museum. Between 1994 and 2002, he was the Director of the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Sacred Sites Program.

More recently, Lustbader participated in the GSAPP-hosted symposium Stonewall 50: Redefining LGBTQ Site Preservation discussion at Columbia with the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project on April 6, 2019.

Charles renfro update

Charles Renfro ‘94 MSAAD

Charles Renfro joined Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) in 1997 and became a Partner in 2004. He led the design and construction of the studio’s first concert hall outside of the US - The Tianjin Juilliard School in China - as well as the studio’s first public park outside of the US - Zaryadye Park in Moscow. Charles has also led the design of much of DS+R’s academic portfolio, with projects completed at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Brown University, the University of Chicago, and the recently completed Columbia Business School. Charles is also leading the design of two projects in his native Texas: the renovation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, and Sarofim Hall, a new home for Rice University’s Visual Arts department in Houston.

Charles is a graduate of Rice University and holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s GSAPP. He is the Co-President of BOFFO, a nonprofit organization that supports the work of queer LGBTQ+ BIPOC artists and designers and has twice been recognized with the Out100 list. He is currently designing the Fire Island AIDS memorial. Charles is on the board of The New Group theater company and is a contributing editor at Document Journal. He is currently a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts.

Learn more about Charles Renfro:

Al hu

A.L. Hu ‘17 MArch

A.L. Hu (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary transgender Taiwanese-American architect, organizer, and facilitator who lives and works in New York City. Their passion is at the intersections of the built environment and social justice, manifesting in design projects, essays, visual media, and collaborations with other architects and communities to understand and rethink the architect’s role in creating inclusive spaces. They were a 2019-2021 Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow and are currently working as Design Initiatives Manager at Ascendant Neighborhood Development in East Harlem. They are a member of as well as a conduit connecting many organizations, including Design As Protest, Dark Matter University, The Architecture Lobby, NCARB, and AIA New York. A.L. is the founder of Queeries, an initiative that seeks to quantify and qualify the multifaceted experiences, stories, and feelings of queer designers confronts discourses of diversity, equity, and inclusion within design professions. Learn more about their work at a-l.hu, and follow them on Twitter @alhu.

Learn more about A.L. Hu: