Dr. Sharon Egretta Sutton

Parsons School of Design


Dr. Sharon Egretta Sutton, FAIA is a citizen architect and scholar who promotes cultural inclusivity in her profession and in the populations it serves. Her books include When Ivory Towers Were Black: A Story about Race in Americas Cities and Universities (2017) and the forthcoming, Pedagogy for a Beloved Commons: Pursuing Democracy’s Promise through Place-Based Activism, both narrating America's continuing struggle for racial justice.

In addition to being a distinguished visiting professor of architecture at Parsons School of Design, Dr. Sutton has served on the faculties of Columbia University, Pratt Institute, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Michigan, and the University of Washington. She was the twelfth African American woman to be licensed as an architect, the first to be promoted to full professor of architecture, and the second to be elevated to fellowship in the American Institute of Architects.

Early in her career, Dr. Sutton worked as a professional musician in New York City, most notably in the original cast of Man of La Mancha. Her fine art is in the Library of Congress and has been widely exhibited and collected. She holds five academic degrees—in music, architecture, philosophy, and psychology—and has studied graphic art internationally.

Dr. Sutton received the Whitney M. Young Jr. Award from the AIA, the Medal of Honor from both the New York and Seattle chapters of that organization, and the Oculus Award from the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. She is a distinguished professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and an inductee into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.