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  • February 23, 2024
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    On January 25, 2024, the AIANY WIA Committee held its 13th Annual Women in Architecture Recognition Award and Holiday Party at Brickworks Design Studio. Each year we celebrate the newly licensed female architects and support the next generation of emerging leaders in obtaining their license. We honor one recently licensed woman architect who demonstrates strong leadership skills and a commitment to the growth and advancement of our profession. The winner receives a $1,000 stipend towards travel and miscellaneous expenses at the AIA National Convention, which will be in Washington, D.C., on June 5-8, 2024.

    We received many impressive applications for the Recognition Award, and we congratulate each for their meaningful contribution to the advancement of our profession. The finalists shared their personal experiences, challenges faced on the path to licensure, and advice. The WIA Committee noted that in 2023, the ratio of licensed AIANY women architects to men was approximately 1.5:1, a 50% increase since 2022. We were thrilled to announce this year’s 13th Annual Recognition Award recipient Nai-Hua Chen, AIA. From the judges’ comments, “Nai-Hua stood out for the strength of her achievements in each one of the four categories of leadership: Leadership in Design, Success in Professional Practice, Endorsing Workplace Culture, and Promoting Advocacy and Activism. (She) has developed strong technical expertise to push design and sustainability forward. She explores technologies to benefit the profession.”

    In addition to the festivities and networking, we held raffle prizes. Three lucky winners walked away with a coveted Brickworks Design Studio gift bag, a copy of Women in Architecture – Past, Present, and Future, and the Grand Prize, dinner with a stellar woman architect, Annya Ramirez-Jimenez, AIA, Partner, Marvel. Thanks Annya!

    We are especially grateful to Brickworks Design Studio for hosting us in their beautiful showroom with delicious food and drinks and contributing to our raffle prizes with a gift bag. This event would not have been possible without their generosity. A special thank you to our esteemed Recognition Award Jury: Arthi Krishnamoorthy, AIA, Senior Principal, TenBerke, Sandra McKee, FAIA, Owner & Founder, Yoshihara McKee Architects and Kaveri G. Singh, AIA, Higher Education Leader, Principal, DLR Group for their well-considered and thoughtful deliberation. A shout out to Melissa Chua of Lean by Design LLC for capturing the evening wonderfully in photography.

    Thank you to everyone who attended our sold-out event to celebrate the newly licensed women architects. The WIA committee is grateful for everyone’s support, and we look forward to seeing you at our next event!

  • February 2, 2024
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    During our January Committee Meeting, WIA made a special announcement, introducing the new incoming WIA Co-Chair, Wells Megalli, AIA, LEED AP, who joins Co-Chair Rosalind Tsang, AIA. Immediate past Co-Chair Vivian Lee, FAIA, will transition to the WIA Advisory Board and Arielle Lapp, AIA, is the outgoing WIA Media Communications. We thank Vivian and Arielle for their many years of service to the WIA Committee! Following the Committee Meeting announcements, Wendy Friedmann, founder of WF Success Coach Inc., a high performance coach, mentor, and former business executive, presented a workshop on ‘Building a Personal Foundation for Success.’ In the interactive session, Wendy introduced her coaching framework, which includes four pillars of success: clarity, focus, strategy, and accountability. Wendy works one-on-one with creative women in many fields, including architecture and design.

    Wendy’s workshop was a wonderful way to kick-start our year focused on positivity, progress and goal-setting! Attendees spoke with Wendy about the challenges many women face on the path to their goals. One woman who attended wrote: “[Wendy] was able to empower us and remind us to be kind to ourselves. I especially resonated with her advice to minimize distractions and to go through life while having grace for yourself.”  We are grateful to Wendy for her time and sharing with us proven tools and techniques to build confidence and become the most productive, focused version of ourselves. Her advice was motivating and empowering. Thank you to everyone who attended!

    The WIA Committee will meet next on Thursday, February 15. Please enjoy the WIA January Committee Meeting Agenda here, and we look forward to seeing you at our next meeting. Thank you all for your support.

  • December 20, 2023
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    On December 5, 2023, the AIA New York Women in Architecture Committee, hosted our 15th Annual Speed Mentoring Program at the Center for Architecture. This year we were honored to have 20 outstanding women leaders serve as mentors:  Angelica T. Baccon, AIA, Principal, SHoP Architects; Gaylin M. Bowie, NOMA, Senior Project Manager, RAMSA; Louise Braverman, FAIA, Principal, Louise Braverman Architect; Nicole Dosso, FAIA, Vice President, Vornado Realty Trust; Thielly Ferreira, Senior Vice President, Head of Design, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield; Nancy Aber Goshow, AIA, Managing Partner, Goshow Architects; Sara Jazayeri, AIA, Founder and Principal, Studio 360, President,  AIA Bronx; Georgina Lalli, AIA, Senior Associate Principal, KPF; Andrea Lamberti, AIA, Partner, Rafael Viñoly Architects; 2023 Immediate Past President, AIA New York; Susan Link, AIA, Project Manager, Curtis + Ginsberg Architect; Sandy McKee, FAIA, Partner, Yoshihara McKee Architects ; Deborah Moelis, AIA, Principal, Handel Architects ; Julie Nelson, AIA, Partner, BKSK Architects; Anik Pearson, AIA, Principal, Anik Pearson Architect
    Angelique Pierre, AIA, Founder, blk|dr Architecture & Development ; Faith Rose, AIA, Partner, O’Neill Rose Architects ; Wendi Shafran, AIA, Principal, FXCollaborative ; Lissa So, AIA, Founding Partner, Marvel ; Elizabeth Thompson, RA, Principal, Elizabeth Thompson Architect; and Betty Rexrode, AIA, Principal, Rexrode Chirigos Architects.

    We had a sold-out, packed house—the energy and excitement was palpable! We are truly grateful to each of our mentors for taking time out of their busy schedules to offer advice, guidance, support and encouragement to our mentees. We had quite a few students this year interested in pursuing architecture, as well as practitioners from different stages in their careers. Our esteemed mentors serve as role models and each have unique experiences to share. It was important that our mentees interact with a diverse range of accomplished women leaders. We thank our mentors for paying it forward, and we thank our mentees for their interest, curiosity and questions. We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback and Speed Mentoring is one of WIA’s core events, facilitating valuable connections, and providing inspiration and encouragement to mentors and mentees alike.

    We would also like to acknowledge John Rusk and Rusk Inc, who generously sponsored the catering of our event.

    We are thrilled to end the 2023 year of WIA programming with Speed Mentoring, and we wish everyone the very best for a happy, healthy and festive holiday season! See you in January at our Committee Meeting and Recognition Award and Holiday Party!

  • December 1, 2023
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    After the WIA November Monthly Committee Meeting announcements, Swati Jain, the founder of Unknown Space, architectural designer, and artist, presented her research on communal kitchens and their potential impact on gender equality; she also showed a clip of her film on the subject, “Kitchen Evolution”, which has been exhibited at The Kitchen NYC, SAWCC, and The Tank and has been distributed by Mubi, New Filmmakers NY and Printed Matter in New York. Her research has centered on how architecture can break the kitchen from an enclosed space that enforces gender roles to an expansive community space to facilitate a fluidity in responsibilities.

    Swati showed many examples from recent design history, including Tokyo Nomad Women by Toyo Ito and Sejima, Philips Microbial Home, and Kitchen 139, a ten-day communal kitchen experiment. She also included a case study on Langar Kitchens in Queens, a shared cooking space associated with a gurudwara where people visit to pray and volunteer to work in the kitchens.

    The WIA Committee will not meet in December due to the holiday break. Please enjoy the WIA November Monthly Committee Meeting Agenda here, and we look forward to seeing you at our 12/5 WIA Speed Mentoring event or at our January Committee Meeting in 2024!

    Thank you all for your support of the WIA Committee, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

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    On November 9th, the AIANY Women in Architecture Committee hosted the Practice and Motherhood Forum, led and moderated by Rena Mande. The event featured ten women in the field, each sharing their experience with motherhood as a working parent. We heard a variety of ways to approach the balance of motherhood and a career, all challenging and successful in their own ways. The panel focused on different stories of planning to start a family, managing it all, and takeaways of how we overcome systemic inadequacies of working while parenting. We got a peak into a day in the life of architect moms, in which we learned that there’s no one way of structuring time. We discussed being deliberate in your values about commitments to children, work, and type of work. We heard about learning from our children and becoming agile in the unpredictability of parenting and how those skills benefit us in the workplace. And importantly, we heard how fulfilling it is to be a mother and that it is not only possible as a driven, career-oriented woman but also enriching.

    We are grateful for our moderator and the ten moms who participated in the discussion. In addition to the information shared by the speakers, Rena also recommended two good reads for new or future parents (links below): Pay Up by Reshma Saujani and Drop the Ball by Tiffany Dufu, with a foreword by Gloria Steinem.

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