Kimberly Dowdell has been thinking about the future of cities since her childhood in Detroit. Over the past two decades, Dowdell has been actively working to improve people's lives, by design. As a Principal with HOK, she collaborates with partners around the globe to sustainably make cities work.
Dowdell is an award-winning architect with an expansive network of real estate, finance, design, engineering and construction professionals. Anchored in the HOK Chicago studio, her core focus is on building the design portfolio that she manages directly in her role as a Principal. When project opportunities are not necessarily a fit for HOK, Dowdell will offer referrals to a diverse array of alternative service providers. There is no fee required for service inquiries that result in contracts for HOK. When successful referrals are made, Dowdell requests that the benefitting parties will consider making a generous donation to one of the organizations that are listed under Board Engagement below.
Dowdell is involved with numerous institutions and organizations in various capacities. The following organizations have honored Dowdell with a board seat:
Dowdell is frequently invited to advise on topics related to architecture, cities, sustainability, education, diversity, equity, inclusion and leadership. She is currently involved with the following organizations:
Dowdell enjoys the opportunity to share her expertise with new and returning clients who wish to tap into her thought leadership on a range of topics from architecture and design to race and culture. Dowdell's unique perspective can be articulated in written form and speaking engagements in various formats. If you are interested in an opportunity to leverage Dowdell's experience for your next endeavor, please complete her inquiry form below:
Dowdell has always found mentorship to be a cornerstone of her success, both serving as a mentor and being mentored. While her availability to spend time with mentors and mentees is limited, she does offer a limited number of office hour appointments for her mentees. Existing mentees can book appointments directly with Dowdell through existing channels. When new mentee appointments open up, Dowdell will review the waitlist to invite a select number of candidates to schedule introductory meetings.
As our cities around the globe become more dense and more diverse, it is vital that we prepare for a more sustainable future. We must embrace rapid changes in technology and and push for rapid change in societal inequities. Together, we must secure the possibility of all people to exist in healthy communities. All too often, we see our low-income communities suffer from disproportionate misfortune in the wake of disaster. Communities of color are especially endangered by social, economic and environmental injustices. If we wish for our cities to flourish for generations to come, we must protect the most vulnerable while also preserving the best of what urban environments have to offer. Dowdell talks extensively about the myriad approaches we can take as a society to secure a stronger future for all.
Sustainability is about much more than protecting the earth, although it is also very inclusive of this imperative. Climate change is real and we are responsible for reducing the impact of ecological shifts on future generations. Socio-economic challenges are also a major global concern, threatening our collective livelihood. Once there is broader recognition of how inextricably linked our lives are to others, we will begin to understand how important it is to involve a wider and more diverse pool of stakeholders in decisions impacting the places where we all live, work and play. Architects play a vital role in shaping our future.
Kimberly Dowdell would like to introduce you to her good friend, DEBI. Hopefully, you're already familiar, but if you are not, Dowdell has a lot to share about why every company, school, organization, government and society should embrace DEBI. Diversity, Equity, Belonging and Inclusion are vital to the longevity and success of any group of humans who wish to accomplish something together. Dowdell is especially well versed in the issues challenging DEBI in the field of architecture as the 2019-2020 National President of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).
An architect determined to make the world a better place, Dowdell is based in Chicago with global design firm, HOK. Hailing from Detroit, her educational path includes Detroit Public School: Burns Elementary, Gibson School, Cranbrook Kingswood, Cornell and Harvard, where she was a Sheila C. Johnson Leadership Fellow.
Highlighting Sheila C. Johnson as a Trailblazer and Mentor Extraordinaire
Kimberly Dowdell Reflects on Her Tenure as 2019-2020 NOMA President
Meet The 36-Year-Old President of The National Organization of Minority Architects
Kimberly Dowdell is recognized with a Women in Architecture Award as an Activist
Kimberly Dowdell honored with a 2020 AIA Young Architects Award
2020 Class of 40 Under 40 Honorees: Kimberly Dowdell
Kimberly Dowdell asks the important question about building equity in design: Will You Join Us?
Kimberly Dowdell sets the bar high for 2019 NOMA Conference in Brooklyn, NY
2018 Class of 40 Under 40 Honorees: Kimberly Dowdell
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