Kwendeche to present ‘My Journey’ lecture for Fay Jones School on September 27
The Henry L. Dumas Library and Cultural Center is located on a historic site in Sweet Home, Arkansas. It pays homage to Dumas, African-American poet and short story writer born in 1934 at Sweet Home.
Kwendeche will be presenting a lecture at 4 p.m. on Monday, September 27 at the Ken and Linda Sue Shollmier Hall, Room 250, Flight Walker Hall, on the U of A campus, as part of the Fall Lecture Series of the Fay Jones School of Architecture. and Design. The conference will also be available live via Zoom.
Kwendeche, FAIA, NOMA, is the sole owner of a thriving firm, Produksi Arymeus. The practice is based at the Lamb-McSwain House in Little Rock, the historic property his grandfather built in 1925, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Fay Jones School Fall Lecture Series is presented in conjunction with Place diary, an internationally renowned online journal of architecture, landscape architecture and town planning; and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division at the University of Alberta.
Registration for the online version of the conference is available on Zoom.
In his talk, “Humnoke to Pulaudaykah to Asmara Back to Humnoke – My Journey”, Kwendeche will share his own journeys as a native Arkansas son who, at a young age, vowed to see the world as a way to explore life. architecture in person. . Architecture has been his career of choice since Alexander Cann’s study of the civic career in ninth grade at Dunbar Jr. High School in Little Rock, with a more intense focus during Pat Aydelott’s drawing class in Little Rock Central. High. These trips over the past 50 years have focused on identifying the historical and local vernacular of the architecture encompassing the site as a comparative study.
Kwendeche’s work advocates historic preservation, creating opportunities for the revitalization of communities in which important properties are left unattended and in disrepair. Kwendeche will convey the importance of travel as a means of understanding and understanding how people live and survive in other communities beyond their home environment. Kwendeche will emphasize that the profession of architect is about serving the community in a way that encourages good design solutions.
His talk will also honor the late Wali Caradine, AIA, the first African-American graduate of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, who was a mentor and friend of Kwendeche.
After a checkered tenure with HOK St. Louis, followed by an exciting career as an architect at an Indonesian design firm in Jakarta and Bali, Kwendeche returned home in 2004 to focus on providing architectural services to underserved communities of Arkansas.
In 2009, he planned and led the revitalization of the LC and Daisy Bates House in Little Rock, which now serves as the Daisy Bates House, a National Historic Landmark. LC and Daisy Bates are recognized for their roles in the Little Rock Crisis of 1957, in which Little Rock Nine joined Central High School.
The Little River County Training School Alumni Association in Ashdown enlisted their services to assess the condition of four remaining school buildings on a campus that was once the only formal training location for students African-Americans from Little River County. Thanks to a coordinated effort between Kwendeche and the Alumni Association, the school’s campus is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Working with the stewards of the Daisy Bates House and Little River County Training School has offered unique mutual benefits and led to more successful preservation results that have expanded knowledge and appreciation of related places. with the whole community.
As the Preservation Architect – typically on all projects – Kwendeche begins his process by developing Historic Structure Reports, or HSRs. These reports essentially help ensure due diligence, and in particular in the case of the Bates House, the report enabled the LC and the Daisy Bates Museum Foundation, Inc., to raise funds to complete the overall work. rehabilitation and restoration.
Kwendeche’s reputation as a good listener and person of great patience with clients, alumni, administrators, ardent conservationists and funders have helped to advance the rehabilitation of Peake High School, a Rosenwald school located in Arkadelphia. Peake High School now serves as a community resource center and is one of 18 remaining Rosenwald schools in Arkansas.
Kwendeche was awarded for turning a dilapidated house into a community gathering place known as the Washington Heritage House. Located in the Little Rock Central High National Historic District, the Washington Heritage House is distinguished by its exterior resembling that of the Little Rock Crisis of 1957.
He is currently researching a school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, whose legacy flourished during Marcus Garvey’s Back-to-Africa movement.
Kwendeche graduated in 1967 from Little Rock Central High School, where he was a Fellow of the Draftsmen’s Society, Army Veteran (MOS 82C20) and graduated in 1976 from Howard University School of Architecture and Planning in Washington, DC.
He is an abstract sculptor, furniture craftsman, painter, photographer, solitary biker and organic gardener.
The school pursues continuing education credits for this conference through the American Institute of Architects.
This conference is open to the public. Entrance is free, with limited places. For details on how to watch the lecture online, please visit the Fay Jones School lectures page. To register for the entire online lecture series, complete this form on Zoom.
For more information, contact 479-575-4704 or fayjones.uark.edu.