Advancing Culture Through Design

NC State University has a unique connection to one of Washington, D.C.’s newest attractions — the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum’s designer, Phil Freelon, is a College of Design alumnus.

Throughout his career, Freelon has gravitated toward projects like the museum, which opened last fall in the shadow of the Washington Monument, because of his desire to serve and enhance communities.

“If our museum is furthering the understanding between cultures and recognized for the power that it can have over people’s lives, the payoff is at the end is there’s something there that is going to be standing for a long time,” Freelon said. “And it’s going to be valued and used and move culture forward.”

Freelon, who graduated from NC State in 1975, remains a dedicated supporter of his alma mater. He has served on the university’s Board of Trustees and on the Design Guild Board. He has also been an adjunct faculty member and mentor.