We are two young women design professionals - Juliet Chun & Zhanina Boyadzhieva - who feel lucky to work in a nurturing environment led by exceptional leaders, where we are allowed to grow and develop. We strive to make the culture of design profession more equitable for all. Please share any thoughts you have on how to make this initiative better.
With a B.S. and M.Arch from Northeastern University, Juliet, Associate AIA, joined Leers Weinzapfel Associates in 2008 and has worked on a diversity of projects such as Ohio State University East Regional Chilled Water Plant and the UMass Design Building. She has taught at the Boston Architectural College as a studio instructor and thesis advisor and has been a guest critic for various institutions including Wentworth Institute of Technology, Mass Art College of Art and Design, and Pratt University. When she's not at work, Juliet enjoys cooking and eating her way through Boston with her husband and young son.
Originally from Bulgaria, Zhanina, Associate AIA, received her MArch from Harvard GSD (2014) and a BA from Mount Holyoke College (2010). She joined Leers Weinzapfel Associates in 2014 and has worked on variety of academic and infrastructure projects: Condorcet Campus Competition (Paris), UMass Design Building and currently Harvard Allston Energy Facility Plant. Zhanina is an active member of WID and Culture NOW. She has taught at Boston Architectural College and has been a guest critic at Harvard GSD, Northeastern, Wentworth, Mount Holyoke College and Kuwait University. Zhanina is an avid world traveler and an occasional writer with work published at TEDx Bulgaria, Metropolis Magazine, Oculus, Dnevnik, Ureport and SciencexArt.
In 2018, we were extremely lucky to find collaborators in several other cities, who are excited to expand the initiative in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC. Take a peak at who they are.
Jenny Hong holds her M.Arch from Harvard GSD and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Architecture and Environmental Studies. She is currently a designer at LTL Architects in New York City and has worked on a variety of projects ranging from academic to cultural. Jenny loves to spend time outdoors, whether running long distances, hiking, or skiing, especially in her home state of Utah.
Venesa Alicea AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, an Associate at Dattner Architects and registered Architect in NYS, is wholly committed to civic architecture, and encouraging community engagement through design practices. Her interests converge in architecture and public policy where good design, both sustainable and socially conscious, can influence the development of buildings, communities, and neighborhoods within our city. She graduated from City College of New York with a B. Arch in 2005, and currently serving as president of the CCNY Architecture Alumni Group. She recently completed a term from 2014-2017 on the AIANY Board of Directors as the Alternate Director for Professional Development, is a past Co-Chair of the AIANY Diversity & Inclusion Committee and AIANY Emerging New York Architects Committee, and is on the Advisory Board for the AIANY Women in Architecture committee.
Natalie Hicks is an architect with a passion for sustainable design and social equity. She received a Master of Architecture, Structures Option, and MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She serves as Co-Chair of the Emerging Professionals for Illinois Green Alliance as well as President for Chicago Women in Architecture. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the city, relaxing with friends, reading, watching superhero TV shows and movies, and everything Star Wars.
Noelle Kwak is an Architectural Designer in Chicago with an interest in blending cultural and social divides. She received her Masters in Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where she had the opportunity to study in places such as Santiago and Sao Paulo. Noelle currently serves as Vice President for the Chicago Women in Architecture. She strongly encourages involvement through her participation in other organizations such as the Illinois National Organization of Minority Architects, American Institute of Architects Chicago and Illinois Green Alliance formerly known as USGBC Illinois. Aside from being a travel enthusiast, Noelle enjoys the diverse cuisine offered in the city, spending time with her friends and watching live music in her spare time.
Allison Burrell, Assoc. AIA, is a Design Professional at HOK in Chicago. She has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from large scale infrastructure projects to small scale lobby renovations. She received her Masters in Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan. In between working towards licensure, Allison enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, and exploring the city.
Meghana Joshi is an Associate at William Hezmalhalch Architects. Her diverse experience ranges from commercial retail projects to multifamily residential projects. She is enroute NCARB licensure. Meghana is the founder and Chair of the Women in Architecture Committee for AIA Orange County. She is also actively involved in AIA California Council as a Communications Committee member, and a peer reviewer for the AIA Conference. She is a contributing member of the Wikiproject to write women in Wikipedia. Currently Meghana is working on 2017 Sage Award winner Senior Living project called "Crestavilla" in Laguna Niguel, CA.
Christine Obnial is a Technical Designer at Architects Orange and a Part-Time Instructor at Orange Coast College since Fall 2016 teaching a second year studio on Design Visualization. Her class is creating a development process literate design professional with the Urban Plan curriculum. She recently transitioned to motherhood with the birth of her daughter in April 2017 and has been advocating for working mothers while serving on the Urban Land Institute's Women's Leadership Initiative in Orange County / Urban Empire. Christine was the 2017 recipient of the Emergent Leadership Awards in Architecture and Design for the ULI Young Leader Group for her work. She is passionate about elevating women in our industry into more leadership roles.
Eman Bermani AIA, NCARB, LEED AP has over 20 years of experience in architecture and interior design. Her diverse practice includes a variety of public and higher education projects in the United States, Brazil and the Middle East. In addition to professional practice, Eman is committed to education and mentorship through her service with the AIA and the California Architects Board. Drawing on her expertise, she has provided licensure seminars and helped develop the new format of the California Supplemental Exam. In her spare time, Eman enjoys walking, hiking, kayaking and skiing which California offers generously.
Rea Joshi is completing her 12th grade year at Troy Tech and International Baccalaureate High School, participating in the magnet "Troy Tech" program, as well as being actively involved on her speech and debate team, and the National Organization of Women's club at her school. In addition, Rea holds a black belt in four types of martial arts, as well as Level 8 Certificate of Merit in piano. Rea is honored to be a part of the Girl UNinterrupted initiative.
Yiselle Santos, Associate AIA, LEED AP, WELL AP, leads the HKS, Inc. DC office Practice Technology efforts enhancing workflows through the incorporation of innovative technology and strategic planning. She is the Co-Founder and Past-Chair of AIA|DC’s Latin American Interior Designers, Engineers, and Architects Committee (LA.IDEA), the leading collective of Latin American design professionals in the DC metro area, and the Founder of the AIA Women Inspiring Emerging Leaders in Design (WIELD) series, an inspirational story-telling event for the empowerment of emerging professional in the design industry. She is a Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program (CKLDP) Scholar, an AIA|DC Chapter Board member, and the AIA National Associates Committee Advocacy Outreach and Education At-Large Director. Yiselle is a recipient of the 2018 AIA Associate Award.
Paloma Riego, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C is originally from Puerto Rico and moved to Washington, DC after obtaining a BArch degree from Syracuse University in 2011. She currently works as a real estate consultant and construction manager at Clear Real Estate Services and is currently pursuing her architecture license. She is passionate about architecture and is always seeking for ways to make a positive impact in the future of the profession. Paloma is co-chair of the AIA DC Committee, Latin American Interior Designers, Engineers and Architects.