"I look for inspiration (or opportunities) from people and places rather than looking for people and places to host my ideas." -- Julia King Regardless of whether or not Shigeru Ban deserved to be awarded the profession's highest prize this year (there are vociferous opinions on both sides of the issue), there is one thing that is certain: architecture is going through some serious growing pains. And perhaps no one encapsulates architecture's shifting direction better than Julia King, AJ's Emerging Woman Architect of the Year. Pursuing a PhD-by-practice via the Architecture for Rapid Change and Scarce Resources (ARCSR) in the slums of India, Ms. King realized very quickly that the last thing these communities needed was architecture - or rather, what is traditionally considered "architecture." After all, community-members were already experts in constructing homes and buildings all on their own. Instead, she put her architectural know-how towards designing and implementing what was truly needed: sewage systems. And so - quite by accident, she assured me - the title "Potty-Girl" was born.
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