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Women In Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News

Sheroes of Architecture

Women are extraordinary designers, yet the architecture profession lags behind our potential and we owe it to ourselves to step up and to take pride in our ambitions.

As a minority within architecture, women often feel alone and confused, unsure how to navigate the complex field while juggling heavy caring responsibilities.

Chilometro Verde: Five Women Architects Revitalizing the Corviale, a Giant Public-Housing Project in Rome

This article was originally published on Common Edge as "Five Women Architects Revitalize a Giant Public-Housing Project in Rome."

Corviale is one of Italy’s biggest postwar public housing projects and, arguably, one of the most controversial. Both revered and abhorred, the complex remains a pilgrimage site for architectural schools from around the world. Il Serpentone (The Big Snake), as it is affectionately called, stretches nearly a kilometer in a straight line, a monolithic, brutalist building that hovers over the countryside on the outskirts of Rome. But there is nothing sinuous about a construction made up of 750,000 square meters of reinforced concrete condensed into 60 hectares. This hulking horizontal skyscraper is formed by twin structures, each 30 meters high, connected through labyrinths of elongated hallways, external corridors, and inner courtyards. Divided into five housing units, each with its own entrance and staircase, it contains 1,200 apartments and houses up to 6,000 people.

The Lebanese Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale, Curated by Hala Wardé, Tackles the Notions of Emptiness and Silence

Entitled “A Roof for Silence”, the Lebanese Pavilion at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, will investigate the question of living together, tackling the issue of coexistence through a questioning of the spaces of silence, and by putting into dialogue architecture, painting, music, poetry, video and photography. Curated by Hala Wardé, founder of HW architecture, in collaboration with Etel Adnan and Fouad Elkoury, the national pavilion will be on display at the Magazzino del Sale (Zattere), from May 22nd to November 21st, 2021.

Paul Virilio, Tableaux Antiformes, Sans titre, 1962 Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne. Image © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCIA Roof for Silence. Image © HW architectureFouad Elkoury, Olivier de Bchaaleh 16, 2019. Image © Fouad ElkouryA Roof for Silence. Image © HW architecture+ 12

Azócar Catrón: "It's Not the Scale of the Project, But Rather the Scale of the Landscape"

Chilean architects Ricardo Azócar and Carolina Catrón founded their architectural and urban planning firm in Concepción, Chile in 2015. In a short time afterward, their project “Two Towers and a Trail” was awarded the Obra Revelación del CA-CCP Prize in 2016 and was recognized in the Young Architects of Latin America Collateral Event at the Bienal of Venice in 2018; their monographic text “Catalejo” won first place out of the Publications category at the 2018 Biennale of Costa Rica. In November 2020, ArchDaily recognized them among the best emerging architectural practices of the year.

We sat down with Azócar and Catrón to discuss their current interests and motivations, their collaborative processes, their career trajectory, their upcoming projects, and their predictions about the future of architecture in their native Chile. 

Marion Weiss: "You Could Spend 30% Less and With Good Design, Do Something That's 200% Better"

The Second Studio (formerly The Midnight Charette) is an explicit podcast about design, architecture, and the everyday. Hosted by Architects David Lee and Marina Bourderonnet, it features different creative professionals in unscripted conversations that allow for thoughtful takes and personal discussions.

A variety of subjects are covered with honesty and humor: some episodes are interviews, while others are tips for fellow designers, reviews of buildings and other projects, or casual explorations of everyday life and design. The Second Studio is also available on iTunes, Spotify, and YouTube.

This week David and Marina are joined by Marion Weiss, architect and co-founder of Weiss/Manfredi. Marion discusses her childhood interests in the arts, architecture, and landscape design, how her office was formed and its design process, working with clients on large cultural projects, how architecture can have a social impact beyond its physical footprint, and more. Enjoy!

"We Need Agile Architecture": The Women of HMC Designing for Equity, Wellness and Housing

Beautiful design is grounded in functional, accessible and healthy environments. For designers Mariné Maroukian, Kristina Singiser, and Adeleh Nejati at HMC Architects, equity and wellness go hand-in-hand. Each of these three women are leaders in their community and in practice, championing new ways to address local needs and create positive impact.

Cal Poly Student Housing. Image Courtesy of HMC ArchitectsCal Poly Student Housing. Image Courtesy of HMC ArchitectsDPW Landscape Renovation by Ani Manuk. Image Courtesy of HMC ArchitectsUCSD Zura Hall Project. Image Courtesy of HMC Architects+ 25

Carmen Espegel: "The History of Modern Movement Must Be Reread, It Still Contains Hidden Information"

Spanish architect, Carmen Espegel's work is embodied in three complementary areas: academic, research, and professional activity. Espegel was part of espegel-fisac arquitectos studio for twenty years as a founding partner and currently leads espegel arquitectos. Her research approach has focused mainly on housing, women in architecture, and architectural criticism.

How the Star System and Sexism Have Erased the Contribution of Women Architects in Intimate-Creative Partnerships

While women in architecture already face more obstacles than men in their careers, as proven by studies and research from across the globe, the disparities become even more obvious when it comes to partnerships involving both genders. In the history of the profession, there are many examples of office partnerships or collaborations that reveal the discrepancies in terms of recognition achieved by the work, reflected in awards, honors, citations, and salaries.

Many of these collaborations are between intimate couples who, as in any business partnership, design and make work decisions together. But in the particular case of architects in a heterosexual relationship, the role of the "wife" seems to have prevailed over that of collaborator, architect, or equal partner on many occasions.

Who Are Lacaton & Vassal? 15 Things to Know About the 2021 Pritzker Architecture Laureates

House in Bordeaux. Photo courtesy of Philippe RuaultMultipurpose Theater. Photo courtesy of Philippe RuaultTransformation of G, H, I Buildings, Grand Parc. Photo courtesy of Philippe RuaultLatapie House. Photo courtesy of Philippe Ruault+ 12

With a formal and material approach that differs from the scenarios we usually find in Architecture, Lacaton & Vassal —a French practice that marks its influence in contemporary times by being awarded the Pritzker Prize 2021— brings an open and generous vision to the field.

Project Galath3a: a Woman-Machine Collaboration at the Berlin Open Lab

Exploring the use of innovative technologies in architecture and practicing at the crossroads between art and spatial design, Gili Ron and Irina Bogdan have imagined project Galath3a, a woman-machine collaboration. The research-based venture uses a UR5 robotic arm named Gala (short for Galatea), to speculate on what is culturally considered as "womanly behavior".

Laboratory tests performed at Berlin Open Lab, Universität der Künste,Berlin. Image Courtesy of Gili Ron and Irina BogdanDesign proposal: Set design for “The Robot Salon”. Image Courtesy of Gili Ron and Irina BogdanDesign proposal: Set design for “The Robot Salon”. Image Courtesy of Gili Ron and Irina BogdanDesign proposal: Set design for “The Robot Salon”. Image Courtesy of Gili Ron and Irina Bogdan+ 9

10 Inspiring Interviews of Women In Architecture

In the midst of International Women’s Day which was on March 8th, this year features a week-long curation of articles and editorials by ArchDaily, seeking to dissipate the gender disparity that exists in the world of architecture. In highlighting women's voices in architectural conversations - the following are 10 interviews from ArchDaily’s archived Youtube playlists that feature inspiring women figures in the world of architecture.

8 Initiatives that Empower Women in the Architectural and Urban Fields

While in a lot of countries around the world, the construction, architecture, engineering, and urban planning sectors, are still reserved for men, initiatives that empower women in these fields are surfacing everywhere around the globe. Playing a huge role in the integration of female power into these disciplines, these movements take on many forms such as organizations, websites, platforms, etc. working with professionals, artisans, and workers.

From providing skills, connecting outstanding females, ensuring exposure, and promoting the works of pioneers, these initiatives have the common purpose of encouraging women to have an impact on their built environment.

Form Follows Feeling: Trauma-Informed Design and the Future of Interior Spaces

Many architects and designers have highlighted the importance of taking into account all five senses during the design process, in order to create a successful user experience. Fortunately, many strategies have been implemented to facilitate the experience of those who are physically impaired, however, little is being done to aid those who feel helpless and restricted due to mental illnesses and traumatic experiences.

Healing from these experiences is a journey that requires a lot of effort from both the individual and everything and everyone around him/her. Oftentimes, victims of trauma are advised to spend more time in the outdoors, embracing the restorative qualities of nature. But what about interiors? Since people are now spending almost 90% of their time indoors, it is only natural that these spaces contribute to the healing process as well. And while these spaces can look beautiful with an abundance of natural light and neutral color palettes, are they truly beneficial to their mental health?

Women in Urban Leadership: 6 Trailblazers You Should Get To Know

“Successful, vibrant, happy cities arise out of the visions of many, not the powerful few.” - Jane Jacobs.

While we’ve seen progress in female representation over the last century, women’s perspectives and voices are still significantly marginalized. This year, the UN reported that women serve as Heads of State or Government in only 22 countries and that 119 countries have never had a female leader, despite the strong case that their leadership makes for more inclusive decision-making and more representative governance. Moreover, women occupy just 10 percent of the highest-ranking jobs at the world’s leading architecture firms.

Courtesy of Charlie Hui, Viswerk. 2020.© Juju BerzôCourtesy of City of Amsterdam. 2021.Courtesy of Safetipin. 2021.+ 6