Conversations

On Affecting Change in Architecture

A Senior Associate at Arrowstreet, Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA talked with us about making policy changes, being a woman in architecture, and observing challenges for emerging professionals. Emily served as Boston Society of Architects President in 2014 and is currently the Chair of the AIA Equity in Architecture Commission. She is the 2018-2020 Director at-large for the AIA Board of Directors and is a major advocate for equity and diversity in the field.

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The Importance of Diversity

During a pleasant afternoon over tea, we had an inspirational chat with Jane Weinzapfel, Principal at Leers Weinzapfel Associates and incredible role model for the Girl UNinterrupted team. Jane is an award winning design leader, dedicated to craft and technology. She has been a visiting faculty member at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning and at the University of Arizona College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, and was also a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. She is a board member for various organizations such as the Boston Society of Architects, the Boston Architectural College, and Boston by Foot. She has served on the Mayor’s Boston Transportation Advisory Committee and the Mayor’s Government Center Plaza Task Force in Boston, MA. as well as on the Massachusetts Executive Office of Community Development Designer Selection Board. Read on to find out the benefits of being different and how to embrace diversity.

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Observations on Women Architects with Andrea Leers

A personal inspiration for the Girl UNinterrupted project, Andrea Leers, Principal at Leers Weinzapfel Associates shares how she created an award-winning women-lead studio. Andrea's design work has earned her the recognition from of the BSA Award of Honor. She is a Commissioner for the Mayor's Boston Civic Design Commission and a member of the University of Washington Architectural Commission. In parallel to practice, Andrea has had an extensive teaching career. She is the former Director of the Master in Urban Design Program at Harvard GSD and previous appointments were at Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Virginia, Tokyo Institute of Technology, National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, and University of Paris, Sorbonne. Take a look at what Andrea has observed about women architects and young professionals during the years!

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Zhanina BoyadzhievaComment
Pushing the Envelope on Office Policies with Diana Nicklaus

In a candid early morning conversation, Diana Nicklaus, President and CEO of SAAM, shared with us her story of how she founded her own firm. Diana has practiced architecture in USA and Italy and her portfolio  includes high-profile, large-scale institutional projects. Having worked in a diversity of architecture firms across the country, Diana has collected acute observations on the state of the design field. She is continuously pushing the envelope on office policies that are progressive towards flexibility and motherhood. Take a look at what Diana has to say!

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Zhanina BoyadzhievaComment
The Role of Mentors and Sponsors with Natasha Espada

Principal and founder of Studio ENEE architects, Natasha Espada shared with us the importance of mentorship and sponsorship in her life. Natasha spent 20 years working for Leers Weinzapfel Associates on diversity of award-winning projects before following her intuition and opening her own practice. She is an active member of AIA, Boston Society of Architects and Women in Design Principal's group. She is also an Adjuct Professor at Northeastern University and has co-authored a chapter for the 2014 AIA Manual of Professional Practice, focusing on national and local trends in office culture. Don't miss Natasha's words of wisdom!

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Zhanina BoyadzhievaComment
Progressive Work Policies with Aimee Hughes

Aimee Hughes, HR Senior Associate at Cannon Design, started her career in education before finding her way to the Architecture & Engineering Industry. Having lived abroad for years and being an avid world traveler, Aimee advocates for a well-rounded lifestyle. Aimee has worked at HR & Operations at Cannon Design, managing large international teams. She loves people as well as the nitty gritty business details in architecture projects. Learn from Aimee what are the ingredients to make a successful workplace.

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Zhanina BoyadzhievaComment
The Importance of Flexibility at the Work Place with Nina Brown

Over a candid lunch conversation, Nina Brown, Principal at Brown, Richardson & Rowe shared with us how she co-founded a landscape studio with Clarissa Rowe. Nina Brown received her undergraduate degree from Harvard College and her Master of Landscape Architecture degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She enjoys working on parks, waterfronts, trails, transportation, and historic preservation. Nina is Co-Chair of the Chairman's Council of the Trustees of Reservations and President of the Arboretum Park Conservancy. She served on the Brookline Parks and Recreation Commission for seven years. Take a look at Nina's story and her advice to designers.

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Zhanina BoyadzhievaComment
On Leadership with Laura Wernick

With a strong passion for the relationship between space and learning, Laura Wernick, Senior Principal at HMFH Architects, shared with us her career path and observations. Laura has an extensive knowledge of the physical, social, emotional and pedagogical basis of education and a large portfolio of innovative schools. She has been a crucial member shaping the culture of HMFH Architects. In 2012 Laura was President of Boston Society of Architects. Learn about the various forms of leadership she shares with us.

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Zhanina BoyadzhievaComment
The Importance of Hard Work and Knowledge with Kelley Banks

As Vice President of Flansburgh, Kelley Banks has been practicing architecture for twenty years. She has a wide range of experience in project types including performing arts centers, dormitories, libraries and classroom buildings and has international work in places like Lebanon, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico and Nepal. As busy as she is, Kelley was able to squeeze in time between traveling the country and working on award winning projects to give us insight on the importance of hardwork and knowledge. Read her thoughts and advice to emerging professionals here.

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Zhanina BoyadzhievaComment
On Taking Risks in Architecture with Katie Faulkner

In a candid morning conversation, Katie Faulkner shared with us her reflections on the design profession and her advice to future designers.  Katie is a founding principal at NADAAA, overseeing firm operations, fabrication, and design on select projects. She has directed efforts to expand the firm's prototyping facilities and portfolio. With degrees from Dartmouth College and Harvard Graduate School of Design, Katie has worked for over 20 years on residential, academic, institutional, and health-care projects. After receiving an MBA from Boston University in 2010, she looked to re-focus her attention and joined Nader Tehrani and Dan Gallagher in launching NADAAA. Take a peak at how Katie got to where she is and what her wishes for the future of design are! 

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On Equity and Architecture with Carole Wedge

With sense of humor and acute remarks, Carole Wedge shared with us her unique entry into the architecture world. Carole Wedge, FAIA, LEED AP, is President of Shepley Bulfinch, a national design firm with offices in Boston, Houston, and Phoenix. Over the past decade, she has led Shepley Bulfinch's transformation and growth with an emphasis on the creation of an open culture and frank and committed work environment. As an architect she has focused on the convergence of learning and teaching and research environments, with a long-standing commitment to sustainable design. A leader and mentor, Carole is committed to making the architectural profession relevant to future generations. She is an advocate for diversity in the profession and is active in Equity By Design. In 2011 Shepley Bulfinch was one of three firms honored by the American Institute of Architects' Diversity Recognition Program. Take a look at Carole's advice.

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Words of Wisdom from Ann Beha

After a tour of her office, Ann Beha shared with us her story and her advice to emerging professionals. Founder of Ann Beha Architects, Ann has been a Trustee and past President of Historic New England, served on Visiting Committees at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and is a member of Harvard University’s Design Advisory Panel. She was Distinguished Visiting Professor of Architecture at the City College of New York, and has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Chapter of the Victorian Society in America, the Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College, and the Women in Design Award of Excellence from the Boston Society of Architects. Don't miss her words of wisdom.

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Zhanina Boyadzhieva
Morning Coffee with Tamara Roy

We met with Tamara Roy, Principal at Stantec in Boston, on a beautiful summer morning. Voted one of Boston's Top 50 Power Women in Real Estate, Tamara was the design team leader for the new residence tower at MassArt, described as 'the most interesting high-rise in years' by the Boston Globe. She was elected to be the President of the Boston Society of Architects in 2016. Nicknamed 'the mother of the micro-unit', Tamara became one of the earliest promoters of compact living when she advocated for changing the policy of minimum unit sizes at a 2010 Innovation District housing symposium. Take a peak at some words of wisdom she shared with us.

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