Understanding the “Spatial Darkness”

— within the realms of connecting through architecture and life

5 min readAug 3, 2020
Photo by Demars Matthews on Black Architecture

Recently, or I would say writing this at a Monday early 5 am, where again, I can’t sleep but I want to always read and write. Being persuaded by a recent graduate Demars Matthews the Founder/Principal at OffTop Design explains how and reasons the nature of the argument of black architecture. I saw this post of his architectural realm of theory being realized when black equity is taken in as further neglect from Americans, who viewed their culture as scrap. Being with his Hispanic girlfriend, Matthews, came into a realization of understanding the theory of black architecture. Although black architecture didn’t come into realization ever since in 1913, the first architect that was ever to be represented in the AIA as a community. The name of this architect fellow, whom we can aspire to be an architect is Paul Williams. Architects at that time wanted to break the norm racial equity. Because of these reasons “African Americans” tend to break the theoretical theories of being part of these conversational terms.

Photo by FRANCISCO HOYOS on Unsplash

In the past few months ago, I was astounded and in my boring studio blogging of COVID-19. The occurrence of the death of George.Floyd. The biggest concern of a death that was made to be cruelling and inacceptual sense. In that quiet, I thought about the book I bought from last year, and got the same book from one of my classmates. My classmates have always known me as a bookworm, who collects books and scraps. But because of these reasons I have two copies of this book written by an author named Douglas Manuel. One copy is signed by the author, the other one is not.Even when my professor saw me having the book, she told me to focus on my work, and so I tried. But no matter many times, in whatever I do, a book always seems to interest me. One of the favorite things that I ventured through this book is that there are tough times, being as a student, and in a situation where sometimes we can’t just honestly “testify” that reasoning to be part of it. To be part of an architectural realm, as far I know, it takes immense practice and illustrated designed techniques to be part of an AIA member fellow.

Source from Author

In truth, I do feel like I can relate this a lot. I used to have a African American classmate. Although, I have a hard time remembering people’s names if they’re unique. Personally, I remember him, taking care of everyone, and the sadness things eventually happened.I fell into depression, more like sadness hiding under the table, just not wanting to hear or what happened to him. The professors found me under the table, when I didn’t know what was happening, until our teachers told the whole class about it. To me, he was like a dad. It felt like he was similar to my dad. Which was funny the thing is, whenever it came to desk post productions before mid presentations and final presentations. We were both confidentially wanting to put both of our works at the same time and present. Even if many things happened. I can remember the first day I clicked. Meeting him, changed my prevalence in architecture. I have always liked darkness in architecture. In my pure sad soul, what I remember is that even when I was frustrated, he still helped me, even when I was guilty or feeling lost. I’ll still remember this classmate, even if I can’t talk about much. But because of him, I wanted to change my upbringings in the relationship of architecture in “spatial darkness”. I remembered my friend, that he wanted to become an “architect”.

His architecture brought an understanding matured age, that he was always willing to save anyone even from the people he cared. Which, he became a true leader among our classmates. In those days we cried and wept. But now those are lost.

When I bought this book from Douglas Manuel, “Testify”, it was before it happened. When I am unable to “stand at the door, unable to cross the threshold…[I’m caught in] thin [ice unable] to bear any weight…against the brittle cold”.The title of this was the first time I see my father’s blood cleaned. In connection to this book and my understanding of architecture is that in black architecture “African American[s always have to be] conventional [in] narrative would say, gradual progress” (Elizabeth Fazzare and Carly Olson).


“I am not myself. I am sleeping

On the backseat of my brother’s

With Jeep Cherokee.


Under the seat. Crack flooding his blood….” -Douglas Manuel.

Commentary Analysis

I’m only a student, understanding this as an honest humble feeling that within that door, there’s hopes and future grit that threads along the spatial system as an architectural experience.

Photo by Daniel Morton on Unsplash

We have to understand, and “act now” as Mattheus says from his thesis of black architecture, that african americans leave a major impact for those who are confronted in this terminology of theory in black architecture.

Black designers- intrigues the realm of the architectural world in realming their past ancestors past self, relying on what they can do to change the modern world. Here we have both an author Douglas Manuel a creative writer poet and a principal and founder of Offtop design and recent graduate student Matthews alumni of a Woodbury Graduate of Architecture.





just a flower full of wonders. Trying to self - resolution for my boredom