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Success through

Design (BBSD)

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Created by Black Students, For Black Students



Building Black Success Through Design (BBSD) is a free mentorship program that provides participants the opportunity to participate in a design competition. This program is for Black high school students who are interested in Architecture and Design. Participants in this program will work with Black architecture and design students who will act as mentors, guiding them through a series of workshops that reflect each step of the design competition. 


The workshops will help participants create a sketchbook of drawings and designs, digital drawings, a 3D digital model, a physical model as well as 2 written components. Their work will be presented in a final showcase that will be attended by industry professionals. Outstanding submissions will receive awards and compensation.  The BBSD creates community and connections with Black students interested in design.  This program is designed by Black Students in Design (BSD) and supported by the Daniels Faculty.

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Black students within architecture have often felt alone and out of place in design spaces. Students in the BBSD program were tasked to design a 'safe' space for Black Students at the Daniels Faculty building. This could be an amenity for functional use, a sculpture or work of art. We asked the students to consider three sites at Daniels, the East Main Entrance, the Second Floor Meeting Room, and the Undergraduate Lounge. The students designs should reflect their own personal story and aesthetic while addressing the prompt. 

Students will be taken through a series of workshops and seminars that will help them to create 3D models using Sketchup, drawings, written pieces, and physical models of their designs. At the end of the program students will have gone through the complete design process and will have their designs and work adjudicated by three prominent Black design professionals.



Mentees at the BBSD program completed a series of design workshops with Sadat Anwar and David He from Applied Architecture and Landscape Design (a Daniels Faculty student group) to learn SketchUp and Adobe Illustrator. 


The Mentees also attended lectures by Daniels Faculty Professor Reza Nik and Shannon Holness from the BPUA. They also got to hear from Black professionals in the design industry in our Careers in Design event (2022).  


Our participants attended writing workshops with Daniels Faculty Professor Erica Allen-Kim and were introduced to the concepts, tools, techniques and methods used in the architecture and design industry.  


The Building Black Success through Design Program is unique with the presence and engagement between mentor/mentee. Every Grade 11 student that is a part of the program is selectively paired with a Black University student within the Daniels Faculty. Throughout the entire of the BBSD program a chosen mentor will guide the student through the series of curated workshops and support create a submission for the final design competition that is held at the end. 


As one learns and tries new things, it’s understandable to have periods of insecurity. A mentor can share their experiences and reassure the student about their progress. The close relationship between a mentor and a mentee can be a source of confidence. Knowing that your mentor believes in you encourages you to step out of your comfort zone.

Meet the Mentor Team for BBSD 2022.


Salma Raji

I am currently a student at the Daniels faculty. Fun fact is during the pandemic my magic bullet was an essential part of my life that has gotten me through the pandemic baking!


Mariam Abdelrahman

I'm currently in my final year at Daniels, majoring in Architecture and minoring in Visual Studies. So excited to be mentoring and to be around young black talent!


Naveed Aziz

I am currently in my final year of architecture at Daniels. A quote I live by is "there is no destination, the journey is everything"


Clara James

I am a Daniels graduate and founder of the program. I am a passionate graphic designer and I enjoy bringing my ideas to life through color. 


Tamilore Ayeye

I am currently studying at Daniels as an architecture student. I am also a passionate artist and designer who lives by the quote "the truth will set you free"


Renée Powell-Hines

 I am a Daniels graduate and co-facilitator of the program. My passion for community engagement, and fascination with ethnography, inspire my design thinking.


We invite you to stay updated with our student work and overall development of the program through checking out the Black Students in Design Blog. 


Interested to see some of the special moments captured at our premier final BBSD Showcase?

Click below for the full gallery!

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