Nejla Harris

Nejla Harris
Hometown: Wendell, NC
Master of Architecture

Tell us a little about yourself!
I am a 22-year-old first-year Master of Architecture student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, expected to graduate in 2024. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Interior Architecture with a Minor in African Diaspora Studies from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I am an adaptable college student who is thrilled and inspired to continue my education in architecture. For the last 19 years, I have held a relationship with the arts as I am constantly and continuously filled with innovative ideas. I have participated in art museum internships, muralist activist, and recently developed a creative platform on TikTok. 

How did you become interested in architecture?
My interest in architecture developed in high school and even more as it continued to intertwine with the majority of my strengths such as patience, determination, creativity, and problem-solving. I've always been interested in art, but architecture represented ideas beyond a canvas. 

You recently received a 2022 Rising Black Designers Micro-Scholarship from the international design firm Gensler. Can you tell us about that? 
The application process for Gensler was challenging while completing my first year as an architecture student. I spent most of my winter perfecting my application, projects and portfolio. Kimberley Tuttle, who is the Emerging Talent Program Manager, made the application process smoother and very motivational. This scholarship is proof that hard work has its perks. I’m motivated in getting my name out in the design world and being one of the winners of the Rising Black Designers Scholarship is the beginning. I’ve had a lot of supporters in my design career, especially with this scholarship process. I would like to thank my parents, best friends, and the wonderful professors that have positively influenced my education.

What are your career goals?
Obtaining a black-owned collaborative arts, architecture, and interiors space is the main goal. Furthermore, establishing programs for mentorships and community involvement that is focused on unlimited possibilities of becoming a black creative.