5 Women in Architecture to be Honored


As women continue to expand their presence in architecture, a new award will recognize five at the top of their field.

Architectural Record will honor five winners of its first annual Women in Architecture Awards Oct. 10 at McGraw Hill Construction headquarters in New York City.

The awards recognize American women in architecture for design, education, activism, innovation and leadership. They will be presented following the magazine’s Oct. 9 Innovation Conference.

The Awards

Half affirmation of women's progress and half nudge to improve their status, the new awards program encourages firms to acknowledge and promote women architects and their work.

“We aim to honor and celebrate women, and to advance the conversation about their role in the field,” said Cathleen McGuigan, the editor-in-chief of Architectural Record.

Shiela Kennedy soft house
Kennedy & Violich Architecture

The IBA Soft House in Hamburg, Germany, is the work of Women in Architecture honoree Sheila Kennedy of Kennedy & Violich Architecture.

Women now make up 43 percent of the architecture students in the U.S., she said, and account for just 21 percent of licensed architects in firms. On top of that, just 17 percent of partners and principals are women.

“But the good news is that there's a growing contingent of women designers whose architecture is having a profound impact on the built environment,” she said.

The Winners

The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges from the Chicago Tribune; the Architectural League of New York; The New Republic; Kohn Pedersen Fox; Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation; and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The winners are:

  • Merrill Elam (Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects, Atlanta, GA): Design Leader, honoring an architect with significant built work and influence;
  • Jeanne Gang (Studio Gang, Chicago, IL): New Generation Leader, honoring an architect who is rising in the profession;
  • Sheila Kennedy (Kennedy & Violich Architecture, Boston, MA): Innovator, honoring an architect who has made a mark in innovative design, materials or building type;
  • Erinn McGurn (SCALEAfrica, New York, NY): Activist, honoring an architect who has used her skills to design for social change, affect the public realm, or perform pro bono work; and
  • Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk (former dean of the University of Miami’s School of Architecture, Miami, FL): Educator, honoring a professional who has helped the advancement of women. 

Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Awards and honors; Color + Design; Construction; Design; McGraw-Hill

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