Introducing Madame Architect: Conversations on Finding Your Place and Hitting Your Stride


by Julia Gamolina Editor's Note: ArchiteXX is thrilled to be starting 2018 with our second guest editor, Julia Gamolina, who will take the reins for the next couple of months to showcase names to know and practical advice for growing careers at all stages in practice and academia.  

While the lack of women in architecture has been well-documented, women are making waves in all levels of the field. Sub_teXXt’s second guest editorship, Madame Architect, is a series of interviews celebrating women in architecture from different generations, countries, and corners of the industry. Some are just beginning their career (Aaron Gensler, Zuhal Kol) while others own their own firms (Hayes Slade, Sandra McKee). Some stand out for their research (Jenny Sabin, Lorena Del Rio), others for their technical prowess (Nicole Dosso and Siobhan Rockcastle), and others for the success they've had building a firm with an impact (Elaine Molinar, Iben Falconer).

This series is designed to encourage young women considering entering  this industry by showing the myriad of  choices they have in crafting a meaningful career. It’s also important to acknowledge  the different and incredible things these women are doing. These architects are so much more than the work they produce—Madame Architect interviews break the mold of coverage on architects’ creative process and output, and focuses on their highlights and challenges as people, caregivers, partners, and teachers.

These fifteen interviews speak volumes about how these women persevere and create the careers that they want. The key, we’ve found, is to stay open to great opportunities no matter how unexpected, to maintain a positive outlook, and to collaborate and learn from as many people as possible. The biggest insight, however, is how these architects are contributing to the industry in so many ways beyond  their built work—they are building firms with healthy cultures, mentoring young architects, and setting an example of how to integrate their role in the industry with a strong sense of self.

Follow along for interviews released every Thursday through April:

  • Hayes Slade, Founding Partner, Slade Architecture

  • Elaine Molinar, Managing Partner, Snohetta

  • Renee Glick, Director of Retail and Senior Associate, A+I

  • Lorena Del Rio, Assistant Professor, Cooper Union + Founding Partner, RICA* Studio

  • Sophie Debiasi Hochhäusl + Laura Hochhäusl, Radcliffe Fellow, Harvard University + Appointed Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania / Principal and Partner, Hochhäusl & Moosbrugger

  • Iben Falconer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Columbia GSAPP

  • Nicole Dosso, Director, Technical Group at SOM

  • Dr. Siobhan Rockcastle, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon

  • Zuhal Kol, Founding Partner, OpenAct EU

  • Jin Yi, Associate, Design and Construction, GID Development Group

  • Jessica Myers, Podcast Producer and Host, Here There Be Dragons

  • Sandy McKee, Founding Partner, Yoshihara McKee

  • Jennifer Preston, Partner, SHELTER Stories + Partner, The Laurentia Project

  • Aaron Gensler, Architectural Designer, Gensler

  • Jenny Sabin, Associate Professor, Cornell University + Principal, Jenny Sabin Studio

Read the first interview with Hayes Slade, Partner at Slade Architecture, AIA 2019 President, and mother of four here.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info] With experience in design, business development, PR, and marketing, Julia Gamolina is focused on communicating identity in the built environment. She is a regular contributor to sub_texxt, interviewing women in architecture on their career development. She is also on the Young Leader's Group committee for the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and is a Founding Member of the Wing. Julia received her Bachelor of Architecture at Cornell University, graduating with the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Medal for exceptional merit in the thesis of architecture.[/author_info] [/author]