Sam Fox School students win NOMA competition

Detail from "Embodying Legacy." (Photo: WUSTL NOMA)

Students from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis have won the 2021 Barbara G. Laurie Student Design Competition, sponsored by the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA). The competition took place during NOMA 50: Detroit Homecoming, the group’s national conference, held virtually Oct. 20-23. The students are members of the campus chapter WUSTL NOMA.

The competition challenged students to design a “Legacy Headquarters + Resource Center” that would celebrate NOMA’s Detroit roots and its legacy in supporting architects and designers of color. The Sam Fox School plan, titled “Embodying Legacy,” aims to inspire economic growth, physical and mental health, creative living, sustainable environments and new ways of experiencing Detroit. Its proposed Embodying Legacy District would encourage cultural expression by developing education, production and income creation opportunities in the historic Black Bottom and Brush Park neighborhoods, which were displaced by urban renewal and Interstate 375.

The Sam Fox School team included: Francine Chun, Lindsey Compeaux, Christa Hua, Yuanwan Huang, Allen Liang, Yulia Morina, Eric Wang, Hanjia Wang, Yuzhu Wang, Yuwei Yang, Zheyi Yuan and Anna Zheng. The faculty advisor was Melisa Betts Sanders, lecturer in architecture.

Founded in Detroit in 1971 by 12 Black architects, NOMA has grown to include more than 1,400 members in professional and student chapters across the country. The group is committed to fostering justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, advocacy, professional development and design excellence. To learn more, visit

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