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Architect and urban designer Germane Barnes explores the role of the architect in non-inclusive spaces. His practice investigates the connection between architecture and identity, examining architecture’s social and political agency. His design and research contributions have been published and exhibited in several international institutions. Most notably, The Museum of Modern Art, The New York Times, Oolite Arts, DesignMIAMI/ Art Basel, The Swiss Institute, Metropolis Magazine, and The National Museum of African American History.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your practice:

I’m a Miami-based designer from Chicago via Los Angeles.

I’ve been in Miami for 7 years now practicing at various scales. From large buildings to small scale installations, I work in a lot of different mediums. The consistent theme in all of my work is the social and political agency of the built environment. Specifically, through the lens of a black person living in the United States. I do produce focused commissions when approached and if I think the client’s desires align with my own. But my personal research and passion lies in Blackness and producing work that amplifies those narratives.

What kind of artwork is relevant to our generation and the times we are living?

Art as a whole is at risk today. Across the country, various types of arts programming are being removed from schools and public institutions. It’s, unfortunately, becoming very elitist and unobtainable by the layperson. I believe all artwork is needed today, but specifically, art that challenges the status quo. Be that race, gender, economies, art needs to stand for something and express something in my opinion. Privileged art is something I need not engage with.

What is your advice for art lovers, supporters, collectors and appreciators?

If the art speaks to you, pay the artist what they are worth. Stop being cheap.