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Adaeze Cadet Named to Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40 Class

The design principal for HOK’s Los Angeles studio is recognized as a national leader within the architecture, engineering and construction profession.

Building Design + Construction magazine is out with its 40 Under 40 class of 2022 celebrating the most  influential young leaders in the industry. Included in this year’s list is HOK’s own Adaeze Cadet.

In addition to leading HOK’s design team in Los Angeles, Cadet serves on the firm’s board of directors and design board. She is adamant about inspiring and mentoring other women and BIPOC designers and is an active member of the SoCal chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

As part of her 40 Under 40 recognition, Cadet shared the following life and career insights with Building Design + Construction.

Secret Life

She has seen every Marvel movie at least two times – Black Panther is her “absolute favorite.”

As a child, she met Dick Gregory and Muhammad Ali when they visited her home; her mother worked with them in the civil rights movement.

She’s a twin, but her parents didn’t know it until they were born.

What is the best career or business advice you have ever received?

My mother would always say, ‘The operative word is “through.”‘ Meaning that no matter what obstacles came my way, I knew I would get through. That helped me get through the draining architecture studio classes, around naysayers who couldn’t see a black woman as a design leader, and through complex challenges to design the best solutions for my clients.

What has been your single biggest professional achievement so far?

My biggest professional achievement is building the knowledge and the skills to grow in my career so that I can be a role model and mentor for aspiring architects. We design for diverse populations in various neighborhoods, so it’s imperative to cultivate more women and BIPOC students and emerging professionals to become architects so that their point of view can be incorporated into the design of the built environment.


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