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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Training the Next Generation of Liberian Architects

Students of Architectural Training Consultants at work in Liberia (Image courtesy Beauclarc Thomas)

"Architectural Training Consultants was inspired by my passion to train young Liberian professionals and students. It's a way for me to give back to my country of birth, an opportunity to give back hope to young Liberians after more than a decade of a brutal civil war."

Beauclarc Thomas was born in Liberia, and was partly schooled and worked there until the civil war broke out. In 2011, he migrated to the United States and settled in Minneapolis. "With the continuation of my education and architectural experience, I was privileged to have worked for most of the top and prestigious architectural firms in Minneapolis," Thomas said. Soon after moving, he started his own firm, B. A. Thomas Innovative Homes, a St. Paul studio providing design services to relocating Africans.

In 2012, Thomas started Architectural Training Consultants, a program to provide quality education in architectural modeling and technical software like Revit and Building Information Modeling (BIM), as well as general architectural studies, to young Liberian and African college students. "Liberia lacks a college that teaches Architecture," Thomas said. "Pursuing a degree in Architecture requires travelling out of the country. Our goal is to build the first full Architecture college in Liberia."

The program, which runs for twelve months, involves 4 phases of training and grants a certificate upon completion. Although the initial classes of the program were held virtually over the internet, since 2014 Thomas and others are now flying to Liberia to provide in-person training in addition to the virtual classes. This year, the first class of BIM students will graduate from the program - hopefully the first of many to come.

Class at the Architectural Training Consultants center in Liberia (Image courtesy Beauclarc Thomas)

1 comment :

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