Women Build Podcast: the stories so far

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01 Feb 2021

Success, the challenge of race, innovative condo design, building on the moon and road diets. Just some of the topics covered so far in Women Build, the podcast for women working in global architecture

Maggie Mullan explores what success looks like for a female architect

Maggie Mullan is one of the judges on WAN’s Female Frontiers Awards. She was the first Female President of Liverpool’s Architectural Society.

She set up her own practice six years ago and works with a wide ranging client base including universities, churches and charitable organisations.

Maggie’s recently been working with LIPA, Liverpool’s Institute for Performing Arts, on a £3.6m project in the city’s Georgian quarter.  The work involved master planning the historic estate, creating new spaces to future-proof its use and support the delivery of new specialist courses. 

In this Women Build Podcast, Maggie explores what success looks like for a female architect, whether women have a more practical approach to design, the growth in women led practices and finally gives some key advice for those starting their architectural career. 

UK Black History month special: the challenges that come with being both female and black in architecture

To mark Black History month in the UK, we spoke to three women about the challenges that come with being both female and black in this sector, the support available in the UK and the US and how the coronavirus pandemic has revealed problems within the built environments of black communities.

Gabrielle Bullock talks about what drove her to decide to be an architect at just 12 years old and what her role as Head of Global Diversity, Perkins&Will, entails. As the second black female to graduate from the architecture department of the Rhode Island School of Design, Gabrielle has been a key player in the firm’s success for over three decades, working in both the New York and Los Angeles studios where she became the first African American and first woman to rise to the position of Managing Director.

Kimberly Dowdell, Principal at HOK, Former President of the National Organization for Minority Architects in the US and Co-chair of HOK’s Diversity Advisory Council shares her experiences in the US. Kimberly won the 2020 AIA Young Architects Award honoring individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers and was also recognized by Architectural Record’s 2020 Women in Architecture Awards program for her activism efforts.

Elsie Owusu, principal of her practice and Founding member and the first chair of the Society of Black Architects speaks about the issues in the UK. After enrolling to study at the Architectural Association in 1974, while bringing up a three-year-old daughter, she became Partner at Feilden + Mawson, where she oversaw the refurbishment of the UK Supreme Court (2009) and the redesign of the entrance to Green Park Underground Station (2011), before leaving in 2015 to work for her own practice.

The all-female team behind Reina talk condos, covid and controversy

Women Build speaks to Sherry Larjani, Managing Partner at Spotlight Developments and Heather Rolleston, Principal and Design Director at BDP Quadrangle about why they formed an all-female team to combat the gender imbalance in the real estate development industry.

Sherry Larjani, Managing Partner at Spotlight Developments and Taya Cook Director of Development at Urban Capital joined forces and assembled a team of female experts from a range of industries including but not limited to construction management, architecture, engineering, including structural, mechanical and electrical, legal, marketing and sales. 

Heather Rolleston, Principal and Design Director at BDP Quadrangle was brought into the project to design the architecture and interiors of Reina. Heather has 20 years of experience designing, leading and managing award-winning projects in the residential, mixed-use, master plan and commercial sectors. 

Designing for life on the Moon and Mars

Christina Ciardullo and Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman from Space Exploration Architecture talk about human-centred design, the advantages of 3D printing in architecture and how designing for living on the Moon and Mars can teach us more about how we should be building for Earth. 

Christina and Rebeccah are working with SEArch+ LLC (Space Exploration Architecture) which develops human supporting design concepts for space exploration.

Continuing a decade-long association with NASA’s Johnson Space Center Human Habitability Division & Langley Research Center, the mission of SEArch+ is to conceive, investigate, and develop innovative 'human-centered' designs enabling human beings not only to live, but to thrive in space environments beyond Earth.

They are working in collaboration with NASA and Austin, Texas-based ICON to create 3D printing construction systems for the Moon and Mars.

Putting roads and buildings on diets for a more sustainable future

Lisa Bate and Mia Lehrer talk about putting roads on diets, how to make a city as developed as LA more sustainable, and the award winning, tangible benefits of the Humber College Building NX retrofit.

Lisa is regarded as one of Canada's global ambassadors for sustainable design and is a champion for gender parity in the architecture and design professions. She’s the former Director and Board Chair of the Canada Green Building Council, and is a Board Director and the Immediate Past Chair of the World Green Building Council. 

She led the facilitation of the 2020 - 22 World GBC three year strategic plan and was a representative on the United Nations' Environmental Protection, Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative. 

Lisa leads teams to deliver advanced sustainable and high performance built environments around the world. Most recently, she led the design team responsible for the Humber College Building NX deep energy retrofit, the first Net Zero Carbon Design Certified Retrofit Building in Canada and winner of the CaGBC Green Building Excellence Awards 2020.

Mia founded Studio-MLA with a vision to improve quality of life through landscape architecture.

She has led the design and implementation of public and private projects including the Hollywood Park Racetrack redevelopment and its new SoFi Stadium, Dallas’ Fair Park Community Park, the LA County Natural History Museum Gardens, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and many urban river-related projects including the Rio Tietê in São Paulo, Brazil, and the Los Angeles River Taylor Yard G2 River Park and Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Plan. 

Mia is internationally recognised for progressive landscape design, advocacy for sustainable and people-friendly public places, and catalysing work for a climate-appropriate future. She is the newest Commissioner of the all-female Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, has served on Obama’s Fine Arts Commission and was honoured with the ASLA LaGasse Medal.

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