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Shipping container houses traveling ‘Say It Loud’ Nebraska exhibit


Shipping container houses traveling ‘Say It Loud’ Nebraska exhibit

Oct 03, 2022 | 5:00 am ET
By Cindy Gonzalez
Shipping container houses traveling ‘Say It Loud’ Nebraska exhibit
Say It Loud exhibit traveling through Omaha and Lincoln showcases design work of historically underrepresented women and minority groups in Nebraska. (Courtesy of RDG Planning & Design)

OMAHA — Visitors entering a 20-foot converted shipping container that’s traveling to spots in Lincoln and Omaha will see the work and hear the stories of 45 Nebraskans who represent diversity in design fields. 

The Say It Loud exhibit, open to the public, is a collaboration with Beyond the Built Environment and others that features displays and video interviews exploring each participant’s experience in their profession.

Shipping container houses traveling ‘Say It Loud’ Nebraska exhibit
Converted shipping container features work of 45 professionals in design professions. (Courtesy of RDG Planning & Design)

‘Colorful tapestry’

Referred to as an interactive pop-up designers library, it is intended to raise up historically underrepresented populations working as architects, contractors, engineers, interior designers, landscape architects and planners.

“To see our faces, hear our voices, feel our impact within the colorful tapestry of our heritage,” said Pascale Sablan, who founded Beyond the Built Environment to advocate for equity and diversity in architecture.

She called it part of an international movement of sharing the journey of the underrepresented to inspire the next generation.

Visitors use QR codes to interact with the exhibit and to vote for a “People’s Choice” award winner.

The exhibit has been at RDG Planning & Design’s downtown Omaha headquarters and at the Highlander mixed-use development in North Omaha. Starting this week, it will be at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, until it moves Oct. 10 to Lincoln.

Container stops:

  • Now at the University of Nebraska at Omaha near the Peter Kiewit Institute on the Scott Campus.
  • Oct. 10-17, stationed near UNL’s Willa Cather dining complex at 520 N. 17th St.

RDG, along with McCarthy Building Companies, city and state chapters of the American Institute of Architects and various area architectural firms are among the exhibit’s partners. 

Nigeria to Omaha

Kene Okigbo is among the 45 professionals represented in the container.

A native of Nigeria, he moved with his family to Kenya and then to North Dakota, earning degrees in landscape architecture and environmental design.

Now in Omaha and working at RDG, Okigbo said he has contributed to architectural projects in 10 states, three countries and two continents. He said he appreciates that the Say It Loud initiative broadens public 

Shipping container houses traveling ‘Say It Loud’ Nebraska exhibit
The public, using QR codes, can interact with exhibit and also vote for favorite designer. (Courtesy of RDG Planing & Design)

understanding of who is contributing to the look of our area’s buildings and landscape.

People should know that there are vibrant and diverse voices designing and constructing the parks, buildings and transitional spaces that surround us,” Okigbo told the Nebraska Examiner. “And most importantly, the next generation of designers should know that they do not have to be the first.

“A path lays before them that will be easier than the one traveled by those that came before us.”