The “boy’s club” of a world of architecture is infamous for generally taking opportunities and chances away from women solely based on their gender and sexuality. However, the break of a new dawn is gradually on its way with the number of female architects rising and also taking up managing positions at internationally acclaimed firms.
In this article, we celebrate some of these individuals.
1. Marwa Al Soubani
In the war-struck City of Homs, Syria where people were running away for their lives, this revolutionary architect stayed a practical prisoner inside her own home for two years (and we complain about the quarantine) and lived through her City being shred to pieces. District by district, building by building. She talks about her experiences and mindset in her autobiography “The Battle For Home: The Vision of a Young Architect In Syria”. She was awarded the Prince Claus Award for her innovative and imaginative proposals to restore co-operations, social cohesion, and a sense of identity after the devastation of war.
2. Maliam Mdoko
This Malawi based architect in South-Eastern Africa lives by her ideology of embracing change and having a positive outlook towards life. Her widespread exposure towards the nature of people she meets and interacts with because of her profession gives her an upside towards understanding and practicing the subject of architecture. She is presently working as a Project Manager at “press trust”. Malawi’s charitable body dealing with public welfare projects like health, education, housing sectors, and social welfare.
3. Pascal Sablan
The president of National Organisation of Minority Architects – New York Chapter, this architect with upwards of 9 years of experience within the field with exposure to international lands like USA, Saudi Arabia, India, Azerbaijan, Japan and UAE believes urbanism, technology and sustainability are important implementations in the field of architecture. The achievements and recognition this architect has achieved through her excellence in the field are surreal. And it is always refreshing to see a minority representative go places and make for themselves room in the professional circles.
4. Melike Altinisik
This award-winning architect, educator, and designer have seen a great deal of success with her simplistic yet innovative approach towards the field of architecture and her works within the same. The aim for her is to create a space with technological urbanism that caters to rational design thinking and futuristic design like no one else is doing it. She founded the Melike Altinsic Architects firm (MAA) in Istanbul, Turkey in the year 2013. While also building international credibility and presence through notable collaborations with famous architects like Zaha Hadid and more…
5. Tatyana Osetskaya
Holding a praesidium position in the Union of Architects of Russia, working as a lecturer at the Moscow International Institute, while being a founding partner and working in the firm Archslon, this Russian architect along with her team solves design-related problems regarding urban, residential, public and interior spaces. They also design customized interior elements from scratch. The work of this architect deals with the design philosophy of manifesting spirituality and one to one deep understanding between the user and the design; architecture that truly connects with its users.
6. Victoria Heilman
Tanzanian architect, educator and changemaker Victoria Heilman talks about how she entered the field of architecture with little or no knowledge about the field. While pursuing her Master’s degree in the US, she worked with Habitat for Humanity for numerous events and sociocultural drives. And when she shifted back to Tanzania, she continued working for the same organization there as a practicing architect and an educator at Ardhi University in the Dar es Salaam school for underprivileged children. Now her sole purpose is to focus on the excelling of her firm and non-profit organization VK Green Architects LTD and Tanzanian Women Architects for Humanity (TAWAH) respectively. Her contribution toward the field and world through her field is truly magnificent.
7. Ana Gatóo
UK Based architect Ana Gatóo pursued her undergraduate program in engineering, and graduate program in architecture. Both these fields inclined her towards earth and bamboo/timber as a building material respectively. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge while being a partner at Light Earth Designs and a committee advisor at REDER journal. She has also worked at various NGOs internationally and extensively researched natural building materials and lighting. Ana has given a contemporary yet vernacular aura to her design work by inclining towards the materials of nature and implementations of the same kind.
8. Raha Ashrafi
Raha Ashrafi is a German-based architect and one of the principal and managing directors at Ashrafi and Zad architectural firm. She is currently a sustainable & environmental design alumnus at Stuttgart University, Germany. Her design philosophies revolve around client inclusiveness, inclusive with nature, and sustainable and environmentally responsible designs. She has gained a lot of recognition and credibility in the design world through her international engagements and a large number of awards.
9. Rossana Hu
Rossana Hu is one of the founding partners of the Chinese architectural firm Neri&Hu based in Shanghai, China. Ms. Hu and her partner Mr. Neri are given a great deal of recognition and respect because of the plethora of awards they have received both nationally and internationally. Along with the design projects that she has handled, she’s also played a very important role in the planning and advisory committee of various pristine universities like Princeton.
10. Chris-Annmarie Spencer
Chris Ann is a Jamaican architect that pursued her architectural degree from the Caribbean school of architecture in 1988, soon after which her family and she moved to Massachusetts from where her eventual journey to Chicago happened. Her most notable project is the collaboration with nonprofits inspiration kitchens where she transformed an old building into a huge kitchen with mid-range, affordable 80 seater capacity space. Her effort did not go in vain as her project bagged 9 awards and she was recognized by the Young AIA Architect’s award in 2017.