Yes, She Can! Making female architects more visible. 11th November 2017

Last Saturday, November the 11th, we celebrated our first YES, SHE CAN! event for families at the AA. We are incredibly grateful to all the families who attended and to our inspiring speakers. They shared their knowledge and gave us a fabulous hint of their interesting work in architecture. Children aged 7 to 16, learnt that being an architect enables you to develop a wide and diverse array of activities.

Architecture is a complex and rich discipline and not always the general public have been informed about it ( I would say that we have neglected the communication with society during decades). Architecture is a humanist career that prepares the student not just to design buildings but to aim for changing and improve our cities for the better. With this new format, children and young people understood that female architects are involved in all sort of processes and they discovered that we are able to develop all kind of interesting professional roles!

Hopefully, this is just the first of many Yes, She Can! to happen.

Dolores Victoria Ruiz Garrido.

Please find below a summary of our day.

We are calling all budding architects, designers, artists, and writers! Come along to the next Little Architect Family Workshop – Yes, she can! – part of AA XX 100, celebrating 100 years of women in the Architectural Association. Boys and girls aged 7-16 are invited to hear from and get creative with female architects working in the profession: Cristina Garcia (Principal, KPF), Samantha Lee (Artist), Samantha Hardingham (AA Interim Director), Caroline Rabourdin ( AA tutor), Manijeh Verghese ( AA Public Programme Curator), Dolores Victoria Ruiz ( AA Little Architect director) after listening to their brief Keynote presentations, we will draw buildings, write stories and make a group collage. These women will share their different approaches to architecture and will offer a positive role model to your children. Places are free, but limited, book now at can’t wait to see you there! with all our drawings together. It is a great opportunity to offer new female role models to your children! 



Our speakers have been: 

Samantha Hardingham (AA Dip 1993) is an architectural writer, editor and curator. Her most recent and celebrated work is the award-winning, two-volume anthology Cedric Price Works 1952-2003, published by the AA/CCA in October 2016. She also wrote the famous book, London: A Guide to recent Architecture in 1997 amongst many others. Samantha has a wide-ranging knowledge and understanding of the AA having been a design studio tutor across all undergraduate years at the AA since 2008, as well as chair of the AA’s Undergraduate Management Committee since 2015 and member of the Senior Management Team. As Interim School Director she looks forward to leading the AA in this very special year as the school celebrates a centenary of women at the AA, with the culmination of the AA XX 100 project.

Manijeh Verghese is a tutor, editor, designer and curator interested in the different forms of architectural practice, and the communication of architecture through various formats. She graduated from the AA with Honours and previously did a degree in architecture and mathematics at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. In addition to teaching Diploma 12, she is the Head of Lectures & Curator of the AA Public Programme, editor of the website AA Conversations, and a seminar leader for the Architectural Professional Practice for Fifth Year Part 2 course. Since 2015, she has been teaching a postgraduate design studio at Oxford Brookes University. From 2012 to 2015 she was a design tutor of AA Intermediate Unit 11. She has worked for numerous architecture practices including John Pawson and Foster + Partners, and has contributed to design publications such as Disegno and Icon.

Cristina Garcia. is Design Principal in KPF, an international architecture office, she obtained her architectural diploma from the ETSA Barcelona. She has more than 24 years of experience designing complex office, masterplanning, residential, and education projects across the UK, Europe and Asia. She consistently delivers buildings that take advantage of their climatic location as she advocates for sustainable design. Just to name a few of her projects, in Moscow, she was responsible for revitalising the south bank of the Moskva River, in Delhi, she is in charge of a project that will combine an airport and commercial facilities to form the main gateway to India and in Amsterdam,she designed the Campus for the Amsterdam University of Applied Science, which allowed the relocation of almost all of the university’s institutes to the city centre.

Dr. Caroline Rabourdin, is a French architect, essayist and academic living in London.Her current research includes spatial theory, geometry, phenomenology, spatial literature and comparative literature as creative practices. She graduated from the INSA in Strasbourg (1999), holds a Master in architectural design with distinction from the Bartlett, UCL and a PhD from University of the Arts London, UAL for her thesis ‘Le Sens de la Translation: Essays on the Bilingual Body’. She currently teaches at the AA School of Architecture in History and Theory,  Media Studies, and for the MA in History and Critical Thinking. She initiated and is the director of the AA Visiting School PARIS, titled Architecture & Ecriture, which celebrates writing as a critical and creative practice.

Samantha Lee is a Canadian-born, Korean architect and artist based in London. She graduated from the Architectural Association in 2012 and co-founded digital arts practice UniversalAssemblyUnit in 2013. She is currently completing a MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Arts. Her practice encompasses light installations, 3D scanning, and moving imagery to explore virtual environments and spatialize the digital image. She’s interested in the omnipresence of technology and the consequences that has on our understanding of both human and non-human identities

Dolores Victoria Ruiz Garrido (Lola), has been the author and director of Little Architect, the Architectural Association’s programme for UK primary schools, since 2013. She obtained her architectural diploma from the ETSA Sevilla and her Master in Art and History in Jaén University. Lola was director of her own architectural office Semisótano Arquitectos based in Andalusia, Spain and has over 16 years’ experience in designing private and public projects. She is also co-founder of the Spanish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) and a new collaborative office called ANDA. Her practise is winner of several national and international awards. Her work involves communities in the design process and places emphasis on a responsible and sustainable approach to the environment. She created Little Architect with the aim of changing the way in which architects communicate with society, especially in culturally deprived sectors, and to improve the understanding of contemporary architecture for the good of our future cities and the wider architectural profession.


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