Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Planning, Design, and the Built Environment

Committee Chair/Advisor

Matthew Powers

Committee Member

Angela Carter

Committee Member

B.D Wortham-Galvin

Committee Member

Cynthia Deaton

Committee Member

Elyse Newman


This research offers a comprehensive analysis of the various dimensions of belonging, isolation, and the role of identity in architecture learning environments (ALEs) for Black architecture students. In a multi-site case study, the study analyzes the experiences of Black students in the habitus that forms these ALEs at three universities with fifteen participants. Through qualitative investigation and thematic analysis, this research evaluates the obstacles these students face when endeavoring to establish meaningful connections.

The results of this study provide a greater understanding of the impact that isolation, lack of representation have on students and the significance of support-seeking activities in fostering diversity withing architecture schools. Using a meticulous research framework, this dissertation provides essential insights into the delicate balance between what is viable for a select few who inhabit a symbolic area of the field and what is attainable and inclusive for all within architecture. The results and conclusions of this study contribute to the limited existing discourse while also providing practical implications for nurturing a sense of belonging and minimizing loneliness among Black students in ALEs.

Available for download on Saturday, August 31, 2024