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  • January 13, 2022
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.
    A group photo of attendees at the 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom.

    On Thursday, November 11, 2021, the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee hosted our 6th annual ‘Happy Hour: Honoring the 2021 Women Fellows’ event at the Cosentino showroom. The event was attended by a range of attendees from architecture students, practitioners at every level and women owned firms, as well as previously elevated Fellows.

    Our Honorees, Hilary Kinder Bertsch, FAIA, Principal, Perkins Eastman; Laura Ettelman-Gunter, FAIA, Managing Partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Karen Fairbanks, FAIA, Founding Partner, Marble Fairbanks; Pascale Sablan, FAIA, Associate, Adjaye Associates and Hilary Sample, FAIA, Co-Founder, MOS Architects talked about their journey to Fellowship and gave valuable advice on how to get there. They shared how the path to Fellowship teaches us to look back and appreciate our contribution to the profession, especially when women tend to shy away from taking credit for their good work.

    We received some actionable tips such as starting to think about our capsule statements right away; keeping track of all our activities and achievements; increasing our engagement by writing articles and speaking at events; taking leadership roles; advocating for ourselves and articulating our contributions confidently; reaching out to peers and mentors for valuable feedback; and considering the ripple effect of our work, whether nationally/globally, or within our own cities and communities. The honorees concluded by looking ahead and talking about how they intend to impact the field of architecture and society even more with the Fellowship.

    It was lovely to connect in-person after a series of virtual events. We would like to thank all the honorees for sharing their inspiring stories as well as the attendees for asking helpful questions, making the event a success. We would also like to thank Cosentino for being wonderful hosts as always.

  • January 4, 2022
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    As we start 2022, we want to thank our resilient community for supporting the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee by attending and contributing to our programming and events with great enthusiasm this past year. To celebrate the New Year and reveal our WIA Recognition Award recipient, please join us for our Annual Holiday Party on Thursday, January 27, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Fisher & Paykel Experience Center.

    The WIA Recognition Award honors one recently licensed woman architect in New York City who demonstrates strong leadership skills and a commitment to the growth and advancement of our profession (please visit the AIANY WIA webpage for the submission details.)

    We will also be announcing our exciting upcoming events for this year, along with a raffle for surprise gifts!

    Kindly sign up here to attend the Holiday Party, and we look forward to seeing you at our first networking event of 2022!

  • December 21, 2021
    2019 Women in Architecture Recognition Award Recipient Grace Yu
    2019 Women in Architecture Recognition Award Recipient Grace Yu.

    As we conclude 2021, the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee wants to THANK YOU for your support and continued interest in our programs and events. It sure has been a memorable year for WIA! Despite the COVID pandemic, our committee had carried out 20 incredible events, both virtually and in-person, ending with the well-attended Design and Practice Exchange: Navigating the (Post) Pandemic Terrain on November 19 and 20. After a very busy year, the Women in Architecture Committee will be taking a small break. In January, the WIA Steering Committee will finalize the schedule for an exciting 2022, with more relevant and insightful programs and events that reflect the survey responses received from all of you back in September.

    We will resume our Monthly Committee Meeting on Wednesday, February 16, 2022. Mark your calendars now!

    In closing, we want to launch the call for entries for the 11th Annual Women in Architecture Recognition Award, which honors one recently licensed woman architect in 2021 who demonstrates strong leadership skills and commitment to the growth and advancement of our profession. Download the announcement PDF here. The deadline for submission is January 7, 2022. We will announce the award recipient during the WIA Annual New Year’s Party. Fisher & Paykel will host the Party at their Experience Center on Thursday, January 27, from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

    On behalf of the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee, we wish you all a wonderful and safe Holiday Season! We cannot wait to see you all again soon in the new year!!!

    With gratitude and regards,

    Vivian W. Lee FAIA & Rosalind Tsang, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

    AIANY WIA Committee Co-Chairs

  • December 3, 2021
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    211022 WIA MorningLeadershipTalk FrancineHouben (30)
    211022 WIA MorningLeadershipTalk FrancineHouben (28)

    On Friday, October 22, the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee hosted Francine Houben, Founding Partner and Creative Director of Mecanoo, as our Archtober Morning Leadership Talk featured speaker.

    Francine shared her career journey and how her overarching vision to serve society and better the human experience informed her interest in design, writing and community engagement. Some of Francine’s early influences included the rational thinking of Delft University of Technology, where she studied architecture and urban planning; her travels through Japan; the sculptural thinking of Alvaro Siza; the human approach of Lina Bo Bardi; and the dramatic color and lighting of the theater world. Her designs are poetic, grounded in local context, landscape and materiality, sensitive to climate, daylight, people and the full range of the human senses. Her interest in human mobility led her to teach mobility aesthetics at the Delft University and she curated the first Rotterdam International Architecture Biennale with ‘Mobility: A Room With A View’ as the theme.

    One of her early works, a Chapel in Rotterdam, features deep blue curved wall surfaces, inspired by the blue of the theater world, separated from the floor and ceiling with strips of glass that allow daylight to stream though. “You have the light of the earth and the sky, and life is in between”, says Houben.

    Francine’s interest in public space, education and mobility are synthesized in her prolific oeuvre of library designs. The Library of Birmingham, United Kingdom integrates an urban building with public space, inviting people to come into the library. The circle is a compositional force that manifests volumetrically in rotundas, courtyard spaces, and within the interlocking circles of the delicate filigree skin of the façade—the continuous circle of light and circle of knowledge. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, transforms and rehabilitates a 20th-century landmark designed by Mies van der Rohe. The process of historical research, public outreach, meetings with different committees, and bringing together two strong identities—“Less is more” and “I have a dream”—resulted in a library with a human touch. Finally, The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library in Midtown Manhattan, recently completed in 2021 was a collaboration between Mecanoo and Beyer Blinder Belle. A spectacular triple height void unites all floors with daylight and visibility. We learned that libraries are about collections and communities, not books. Spaces are about life-long learning environments.

    The talk concluded with audience Q&A. We thank all the attendees for the thoughtful questions, and Francine for her generosity and time.

    “Architecture must appeal to all the senses and is never a purely intellectual, conceptual and visual game alone. What counts in the end is the arrangement of form and emotion.” – Francine Houben, Mecanoo

      • People, Place, Purpose
      • Dutch Mountains
      • Composition, Contrast, Complexity
  • November 2, 2021
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    After its first in-person committee meeting last month, the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee held its first in-person panel discussion at the Center for Architecture since March 2020. Titled Women at the Helm, the panel featured managing partners and principals from leading New York firms. Laura Ettelman, FAIA, Managing Partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Latoya Nelson Kamdang, AIA, Associate Principal and Director of Operations, New York Studio, Moody Nolan; Elizabeth Leber, AIA, Managing Partner, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners; and Kirsten Sibilia, Assoc. AIA, Managing Principal, Dattner Architects shared their personal and professional paths, providing fascinating insights into their journeys toward becoming leaders.

    Laura Ettelman spoke about her journey from being a Project Architect to Managing Partner and the importance of being patient, building good teams, listening to clients, stepping back and allowing team members to step forward. Latoya Kamdang had an unconventional path from holding a business degree to studying architecture and switching careers. She spoke about the importance of flexibility to redesign one’s path and the art of truly finding where one’s interests lie, which is vital to success. Elizabeth Leber showcased her team and shared that she is most proud of the people she has worked with, while pointing out that being focused and goal oriented are what led her to her leadership position as Managing Partner. Kirsten Sibilia highlighted her role as the first allied professional Managing Partner at Dattner Architects, and shared that stepping up, asking a lot of questions, and trusting people along the way led her to her position where she can empower others.

    The panel discussion was moderated by WIA Advisory Board Member and Senior Associate at Beyer Blinder Belle, Kerry Nolan, AIA. Through answering the questions, the speakers elaborated on common challenges which included “taking the helm” during the pandemic. They acknowledged that the “little triumphs” are invigorating, particularly during this time. They also spoke about the impact of hiring and nurturing talent, providing a successful example of what a diverse practice can look like, and showing people that diversity is a profitable, good business model.

    We thank our panelists for sharing their stories and our audience for participating and asking thoughtful questions, leading to a meaningful discussion.

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