Christopher Locke

Christopher Locke

Los Angeles, CA, US

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My name is Christopher Locke, my work challenges the established practices of architecture from the perspective of a black designer, spatial advocate, and social innovator to create new spaces for change. Currently located in Los Angeles, I moved to the city after graduating from the University of Michigan with a Master's degree in architecture. 

Professionally, my work over the last three years is categorized underneath AIA’s definition of a Citizen Architect. As a young black man, my goal is to create strategies for how architects can be involved in the delivery of critical design services in diverse and underserved communities. This work has been accomplished through research, advocacy, community organizing, and the process of delivering well executed buildings.  At ZGF Architects there are two notable projects that are an example of my architectural experience in building design and construction delivery. Cal State Los Angeles a 150,000 sf services building and the ZGF Office Tenant Improvement were two projects I worked on from concept design to the beginning of construction administration. On both projects, I had the opportunity to work closely with the principal lead designer to develop key building strategies while also having the responsibility to execute the design concepts into a complete construction building set. 

Coinciding with my relocation, I co-founded the platform Designing in Color and shortly after co-founded small talks:LA. By defining the value of how marginalized groups within the profession and local communities engage with critical design practices that embrace their diverse cultural diaspora, I believe that the architects can achieve an equitable practice that is of greater value to underserved communities. My work also expands into The National Organization of Minority Architects and film making as I document the current housing crisis across the city as a means of telling stories for narratives unknown.

Christopher's Travel Blog on Archinect:

The Architectural Imagination Exhibition Fellows : The U.S. Department of State selected University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning to organize the exhibition of the U.S. Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale (May 28-Nov. 27). Cynthia Davidson and Monica Ponce de Leon are Co-Curators of the U.S. Pavilion, The Architectural Imagination (

Six Taubman College M.Arch students were selected to assist the curators of the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale in installing The Architectural Imagination. The students will travel to Venice for one month as Exhibition Fellows. They will serve as docents for the opening days of the exhibition. This blog is about their experience working on the 2016 U.S. Pavilion and in Venice.

Kristen Gandy
Ramon Hernandez
Christopher Locke
Rubin Quarcoopome
Salam Rida
Diana Tsai

Category Title


ZGF Architects LLP, Los Angeles, CA, US, Associate - Designer

Role: Designer who assisted in production of design strategies and delivery of project construction drawings.


California State University Los Angeles - Seismic Retrofit + Renovation | 1 year 7 months
200,000 sf renovation of a mid-century modern 8 story science lab building
into campus student services, was integral part of the team from SD through permitting.

CBS Headquarters Studio City - Competition | 2 months
150,000 sf iconic office building for creative office space, developed concept and facade design along with high quality renderings for submission.

ZGF Architects Office Remodel - Interior Office Renovation | 8 months
25,000 sf office renovation to reimagine the workplace for the firm and provide
permanent work space for over 100 staff members. Collaborated with partners and principals from programming through construction documents.

Diversity Inclusion Advocacy Group (DIAG) - ZGF Firm Wide Initiative | 1 Year 3 Months Developed programs and activities to engage the LA staff in constructive dialogue and engagement regarding issues around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Established firm wide metrics to measure progress of initiatives critical to creating an environment of success for all employees.

ZGF Shadowing Program - ZGF LA Internal Firm Wide Initiative | 1 Year
Lead ZGF shadowing program that collaborates with SoCal NOMA to introduce students of color to everyday practices of architecture.

Nov 2016 - Jun 2019


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US, MArch, Architecture

Sep 2014 - Apr 2016

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst Center, MA, US, Bachelors, Architecture

Sep 2010 - May 2014


Areas of Specialization