Here We Are

The Challenge

Nominate 3 women.
Women you mentor.
Women you admire from afar.
Women you wish more people knew about.

Then share the challenge with those 3 women and ask them to do the same.

Post each woman’s name, city, and a sentence or two about why you’ve added each one.

  1. Utar Pollard – Los Angeles
    Dedicated mentor.

    Alice Kimm – Los Angeles
    Chair of Undergraduate Studies at USC’s School of Architecture.

    Julie Eizenberg – Los Angeles
    Educator and successful business owner.

    Kate Diamond – Los Angeles
    Professor, mentor, high design standards.

  2. Patricia Patkau, Patkau Architects, Vancouver
    (National Library of Montreal)
    Julie Eizenberg, Koning Eizenberg, LA
    (Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh)
    Becca Cavell, THA Architecture, Portland, OR
    (Multnomah County Libraries)
    Alice Kimm, John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, LA
    (LA Design Center)

    Each of these women are excellent designers who inspire students through their wise words. They challenge us with new ways to see our world by creating buildings with strong concepts developed down to the small details.

    (we need more than 3!)

  3. Katherine Darnstadt, Chicago
    Architect, educator and activist working at the intersection of probono and practice

    Kathleen Wendland, Berlin
    Spearheading a startup design collaborative working on public projects throughout Germany

    Derya Cievelkolgu, Istanbul
    Bridging cultural and gender divides in design

  4. And the three women I would first invite to join my dream firm:

    * Nadia Khan, Berkeley, CA Arkin Tilt
    * Claudia Kappl, Tucson, AZ Rick Joy Architects
    * Cassandra Keller, Canberra, Australia

    (did I really have to narrow it to three?)

  5. Four architects who are extraordinary designers, artisans, and entrepreneurs:

    * Tara Petter, Anchorage, Alaska, Redhouse Workshop
    * Tolya Stonorov, Homer, Alaska, Stonorov Workshop
    * Rebecca Ternus, SF, California, independent architect
    * Cathi Ho, Honolulu, Collaborative Studio

    Three architects who are outstanding designers and teachers:
    * Simi Hoque, Amherst, MA, Assistant Professor of Building and Construction Technology, UMass Amherst
    * Virginia San Fratello, SF, California, Rael San Fratello & California College of the Arts
    * Antje Steinmuller, SF, California, Studio Urbis & California College of the Arts

  6. I would like to nominate my friend and former Colleague Paula Horrigan, Associate Professor in the deparment of Landscape Architecture at Cornell University. Paula is a true believer in the power of community-based placemaking to inspire people. She has spent her life and professional career to date working with disempowered clients to envision better future for themselves and their communities. She has worked to promote participant action research, a new theoretical and methodological framework that considers communities and residents not as final users of our designs, but as partners in this process. She is currently engaged in a PAR process in the city of Utica, working with local residents and stakeholders in shaping a better future for this rustbelt city. You may find more information on Paula’s work on the website

  7. Reiko Tomita, for her design work with the unique Japanese architectural cooperative Team Zoo.

    Judith Herweegan, for her perceptive contributions to environmental psychology in relation to buildings.

    Christine Theodoropoulos, architect, engineer and head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Oregon, for exemplifying how to lead others… with logic, humility and humor.

  8. Jackie Gusic
    Tina Geary
    Claudine Lorenz

    Architects and inspirational women.

  9. Megan J. Delevan, Philadelphia PA
    Architect, CSI, Senior Associate and Director of Operations at BLT Architects in Philadelphia PA. Talented at seeing the big-picture and the details, Meg is able to juggle all aspects of a project and now, the firm while still being thoughtful of her co-workers.

    Barbara A. Spitz, Philadelphia PA
    Architect and health-care facility designer. An invigorating and fun personality who challenges everyone around her to think outside the box. Principal at HERA, Inc., Philadelphia PA.

    Nan Gutterman, Philadelphia PA
    Historic Preservation Architect and masonry specialist with Vitetta, Philadelphia, PA. An expert in her field, as well as, a terrific person to all around her. She is a terrific inspiration by just doing what she loves every day.

  10. Erin Moore, Eugene
    Erin has degrees from Smith and UC Berkley. She is currently an assistant professor at University of Oregon. Her focus for research: how to build with explicit intentions for the lives and life spans of materials and buildings.

    Cathy Braasch, Boston
    My wonderful mentor, a graduate of Yale and the GSD, Cathy brings to her work (and new practice)a unique background in theatrical design.

    Deborah Schneiderman, New York
    Now the MFA ID thesis coordinator at Parsons, Deborah has contributed to the worlds of architecture and industrial design through teaching and her professional practice(de Sc architecture). She is the author of a new book: Inside Prefab, Princeton Architectural Press 2010.

  11. Marguerite Anglin, – Philadelphia PA
    Nicole Dress – Philadelphia PA
    Deidre DeAscanis – Philadelphia PA
    Lauren Ulmer – Philadelphia PA
    Karen Anderson – Philadelphia PA
    Robynne Orr – Philadelphia PA

    …friends, colleagues, inspiration + fellow Registered Architects…

    Tiffany Millner – Philadelphia PA

  12. I nominate…myself. Jennifer Mathis, Houston, TX. Registered Architect, Texas Registered Accessibility Specialist, ICC Certified Building Plans Examiner, and laid off since April.

  13. Wonderful idea – thank you to whomever came up with it. There are so many women who have influenced me, some that I know well but many of whom I’ve never met. Here are three of them:

    Carol Siracuse AIA – Buffalo NY architect and talented watercolourist, and my mentor for 6 years while at Cannon Design. Still my mentor and neighbour, and a treasured friend.

    Kara MacGregor NCIDQ – not an architect, but an interior designer and principal of MAC Interior Design in Halifax, Canada. She is a gifted designer who sincerely loves her work, and that shows in everything that she does. Kara and I worked together about 15 years ago, and I learned so much from that experience. It has really shaped the direction of my career. Most importantly, I learned from Kara’s example to value the practice of interior design and the contribution that good designers make to the built environment.

    Gail Lindsey FAIA – I’ve learned so much from the people who knew Gail and from the many things that she accomplished in her career. Her leadership in sustainability was unmatched. She is greatly missed, even by people like me who never had the opportunity to meet her.

  14. Amy Hinkley, A. Hinkley Architecture, in Waldoboro, Maine. Registered architect and adjunct faculty at the only 4-year architecture program in Maine, Amy’s design ethic is simple, flexible, and sustainable, with a focus on buildings with “good bones.”

  15. Margot Otten, New York City
    A graduate of University of Illinois and New School of Architecture and Design, Margot passionately designs at Matthew Baird Architects. Whether she’s proposing designs for innovative pools along the Hudson River (, redesigning penthouse suites along Gramercy Park, running marathons, or contributing to the discourse of sustainable building (, Margot puts her heart into life and is one of the strongest and most inspiring women I know.

  16. […] It’s easy – post a name, city, and short recommendation of a woman you know as a comment. Send it on to other men or women you admire and ask them to add women they admire. […]

  17. Hard to pick three, and even harder to condense these impressive careers into a few sentences:

    Jeannette Kuo, Zurich, Switzerland
    Jeannette has degrees from UC Berkeley and the GSD. She has worked for and taught at too many impressive places to list here, and continues to advance good design as co-principal of Karamuk Kuo Architects.

    Juliet Hernandez-Eli, New York
    Juliet currently works at Samoo, and has degrees from Princeton and the GSD. She’s taught numerous design studios, most recently at the Pratt Institute. She is the co-founder of General Design Office which specializes in design at all scales as problem-solving.

    Laura Crescimano, San Francisco
    Laura currently works at Gensler and teaches at the CCA, and has degrees from Yale and the GSD. Her independent research addresses design in relation to the public and the underserved. She is the mastermind behind this site.

  18. Colleen Paz, Oakland CA
    Colleen is a graduate of UC Berkeley and is currently working for Leger Wanaselja Architects in Berkeley. She is a designer, fabricator, and builder with specialized expertise in light and the environment.

    Marina Christodoulides, San Francisco CA
    Marina received her M.Arch and M.CP from UC Berkeley. She is currently a designer at Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects. Marina is also co-founder of Recess, a collaborative design studio with a wide range of projects and expertise.

    Laura Boutelle, Oakland, CA
    Laura received her M.Arch from UC Berkeley and is currently an architect at Fernau and Hatman Architects in Berkeley, CA.

  19. Roz Cama, New Haven, CT
    Interior Designer who I first learned about when she was national president of ASID, bridging the gap with AIA. Chair for the Center for Health Design and worldwide proponent of evidence based design. My former employer who embraces staff like they’re family. I chose a mentor instead of mentee

    Jody McGuire, New Haven, CT
    Partner at studio 8 architecture, BA from U of Minnesota and MArach from Yale. I studied architecture with her in Denmark. Takes time away from her architecture practice to coach me on business matters. I love her work. See it at

    Dr. Eugenia Ellis, Philadelphia, PA
    Drexel U. Prof and principal at BAU Architecture based in Elkins Park. Showed me the teaching ropes when we co-taught at Drexel.

  20. Claudia Noury-Ello is an architect, designer, deeply gifted problem-solver in Boston, MA. With great skill and incredibly good humor, Claudia runs a successful architecture practice in balance with her family of four.

    Tina Roth Eisenberg is a designer and design-thinker in Brooklyn, NY. Tina shares the beautiful and the delightful to a captive audience all around the globe and far beyond the borders of her native Switzerland. (

    Silvia Fuster is principal of Vamos in Williamsburg, NY. Silvia’s amazing gift as architect, designer, and human being is the infectious and inspiring way in which she asks so many questions, considers so many possibilities, and is still able to scrutinize and reconsider it all again.

  21. Mimi Love, Utile, Boston, MA
    A principal at Utile, Mimi leads architecture, interior design, and historic renovation projects.

    Gretchen Schneider, Schneider Studio, East Boston, MA
    A graduate of Smith and the Harvard GSD, Gretchen has a small practice based in East Boston. Her work includes residential and public commissions, public art, participatory design projects, and teaching.

    Hannah Fischer-Baum, New York, NY
    A graduate of Carleton College and the Harvard GSD, Hannah is a project manager for city planning in New York.

  22. Angela Watson
    Elise Woodward
    Carole Wedge

    All principals at Shepley Bulfinch in Boston, leaders in higher education, library and healthcare design.

  23. Julie Fisher knows how to make buildings work and look beautiful. She just finished an Aspen residential project from the ground up while working at Leroy Street Studio in New York, NY.

    Jennifer Charles is making a difference in Louisville, KY as chair of the Beautification Committee for NuLu. She is also owner of Jennifer Charles Architecture.

    Rita Haudenschild is managing, designing and overseeing construction of a new sustainable landscape and office re-model in San Diego, CA. She runs her practice, haudenschildStudio from the field, the office and the road.

  24. Siobhan Burke
    Siobhan is making our cities better, staring with Los Angeles. She owns Lyric Design & Planning, a professional practice working to envision and design sustainable streetscapes, storefronts, parks and neighborhoods.

    Amy Cuker
    Amy is a Down2Earth interior designer who also has an MBA. She has studied architecture in Denmark and she has taught design in Boston, MA and Philadelphia, PA, where she now lives.

    Naomi Darling
    Naomi is an architect, artist and scientist living and working on the Connecticut shoreline. She teaches architecture at Yale and Brown, focusing on Environmental Design.

  25. Just three out of many inspiring architects:

    Sarah Ingham, Phoenix
    A graduate of U. of Arizona, she is currently getting her masters at Arizona State. She previously worked as a designer at Della Valle Bernheimer in NY and hopefully she can be lured back to the east coast.

    Cynthia Gunadi, Boston
    A graduate of Brown and the GSD, she is an architect at Hashim Sarkis Studios and recently exhibited her work with Joel Lamere at the Johns Hopkins Evergreen Museum.

    Amale Andraos, New York
    A graduate of McGill and the GSD, she is principal of WORKac and teaches currently at Princeton.

  26. Anne Fougeron, San Francisco
    Cary Bernstein, San Francisco
    Marsha Maytum, San Francisco
    Michelle Kaufmann, Bay Area
    Julie Eizenberg, Los Angeles
    Barbara Bestor, Los Angeles
    …and many more where those came from; ‘nough said.

  27. Beth Weinstein, Tucson
    Weinstein brings at least seven years of international practice in the Paris office of Ateliers Jean Nouvel to the faculty of the School of Architecture at the University of Arizona. She teaches building technology courses and studios that focus on the integration of technology in building design, as well as courses on performance architecture (performance spaces and events).

    Susannah Dickinson, Tucson
    Dickinson teaches Digital Communication courses and studios at the University of Arizona. Before her faculty appointment, she managed significant projects in the offices of Frank Gehry and SHoP Architects for over a decade. She has cutting edge experience with the integration of digital technology and project delivery.

    Teresa Rosano, Tucson
    Rosano is one of the founding principals of IbarraRosano Design Architects. Her firm has received national and international acclaim for their work in the Sonoran Desert. The work has been published widely and is renowned for its sensitivity to sites and appropriate use of materials.

  28. Going to fish in the very small pool where I swim as well:

    Susan Ubbelohde, Berkeley (Bay area), California
    Ubbelohde is trained as an architect, but is a leader in the building sciences. It is her firm, Loisos + Ubbelohde, that keeps those computers and clients from cooking in Apple’s elegant glass cubes.

    Mary Comerio, Berkeley (Bay area), California
    Originally an architect, Comerio is a leader in two areas: 1) response to seismic events, including post-disaster shelter, and 2) seismic engineering. Many keep reinventing the wheel when it comes to refugee shelter; Comerio has seen it all over many years.

    Lisa Iwamoto, Berkeley (Bay area), California.
    If you are interested in parametric design, she’s written the book (DIGITAL FABRICATIONS) outlining how small firms with limited budgets are leading the way on the sensual side of digital design.

  29. On behalf of Karen L. Nelson,
    Director Advanced Architecture Studios, Boston Architectural College:

    Beth Whitaker, Boston
    Merge architects, for her residential work and teaching.

    Neri Oxman, Boston
    Doing important and groundbreaking work at the Media Lab

    Kelly Ard, Boston
    A young BAC instructor, a stellar teacher working at designLAB Architects.

  30. Deborah Berke
    Deborah has built a remarkable practice and has always taken time to mentor younger people, especially women. Her private work is exceptionally strong, and her commitment to the public realm is equally notable. She lectures frequently and teaches advanced studios at Yale.

    Andrea Woodner
    Andrea is the founding director of the Design Trust for Public Space in New York City. Through her vision, the Design Trust has become a changemaker in the city and has extended its broad reach to architects, landscape architects, artists and activists.

    Brigitte Shim
    Brigitte and her partner Howard Sutcliffe create sublime buildings and landscapes. Their work is carefully considered and exquisitely crafted, both at the scale of the building and the landscape. Brigitte is easily one of the most generous people in our field, consistently making time for teaching and an international circuit of lectures and design award juries.

  31. Janika McFeely, San Francisco
    A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Janika is a leader in sustainability at EHDD Architecture and in the profession at large, pushing us all to make sustainable building design the norm, and something we’re accountable for, not just something we market.

    Sarah Holton, Boston
    A graduate of Cornell and the GSD, Sarah currently works at Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, she was previously at Deborah Berke & Partners Architects.

    Kim Cooney, San Francisco
    A recent graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Kim currently works at Jensen Architects.

  32. Liz Ogbu
    A graduate of Wellesley and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Liz directs the design efforts of nonprofit Public Architecture and speaks widely on the emerging field of social sustainability.

    Emily Pilloton
    A graduate of UC Berkeley and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Emily founded and directs Project H Design and is the author of Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People.

    Jennifer Gee
    A graduate of UC Berkeley, Jennifer works for the Design & Construction Division of the General Services Administration (GSA) in San Francisco.

  33. Erin Cubbison, San Francisco
    Specializing in sustainable design at Gensler, Erin is bright and articulate, balancing the details and the big picture–from waste water systems to eco-cities. Erin graduated with a Masters from UC Berkeley.

    Yutaka Sho, Syracuse
    A founder of General Architecture Collaborative and professor of architecture at Syracuse University, Yutaka and her partners are developing their own model of practice that uses design and research to respond to communities in need.

    Emily Licht, San Francisco
    A graduate of UC Berkeley’s masters program now working for Rael San Fratello, Emily is part of a promising group of young architects thinking about urban social issues, politics and design simultaneously.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: