Getting to Know the 2% – Jamie Intervalo   

Seeking Equity & Diversity in Architecture 

In partnership with SDNOMA, we are proud to present, Overcoming the 2%: Seeking Equity and Diversity in our Built Environment. As it is approaching quickly, we created a video capturing our panelist’s views on the most significant challenges people of color currently face in entering the profession. Did you know that only 2% of licensed architects are Black and African American? 

Join us on May 13th at 5:00 pm, where we will hear from Melina Aluwi, Philicia Harris, Jamie Intervalo, Mathew Picardal, and Joseph Ignacio Ruiz about why this disparity exists and what we need to do to change it.

Have a watch, and sign up for the webinar to discuss how we as an industry can overcome these challenges.


Jamie Intervalo   

Hi, Jamie! What profession are you in?

I am an architect at LPA Design Studios and director at EDI+J AIA in San Diego.       

What was the biggest challenge for you in entering the profession as a person of color?   

I was lucky that my father was an architect, but outside of that, I did not see many prominent women architects that looked like me – a Filipino woman. My time in college was when I realized that I wanted to pursue architecture and urban planning. That switch was difficult, knowing it was already an uphill battle in a male-dominated profession and not having any mentors, especially women of color, to advise me. I was lucky to have found a wonderful mentor that has propelled my career forward, but having that at a younger age with more women of color to aspire to would have made my journey a bit smoother. 

How should the challenges for people of color in your profession (or the built environment in general) be addressed?

I know there are many talented, diverse designers and architects out there; we need to participate in events, encourage each other, and the next generation comes out in the pipeline. The more we get involved, the more integrated we will be in our design communities, professional organizations (like NOMA!), and workplaces.

What one piece of advice would you pass on to the next generation of professionals of color in your industry?

My advice would be to have perseverance. If you have a dream to make an impact in your built environment, pursue your dream. Don’t take no for an answer. This profession is not for the faint of heart, but nothing can stop you if you have the heart and perseverance to ask the right questions and find the right community and cultural workplace where your work will make a difference.

To connect with Jamie, you can find her on Instagram at @jamiethearchitect

Click here to see a video of our panel discussing some of these issues. 

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