During graduate school, I assisted with the International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) which is housed in Virginia Tech’s library. It was a unique experience to review the letters and drawings created by women who were pioneers in my profession. However, it was the time spent with the women who gathered for the annual IAWA board meeting and the resulting conversations which left the greatest impression on me. They were excited to talk about why they pursued architecture, what their most memorable projects involved, and how they persevered in an era that did not always welcome or recognize their ideas. The women ranged in age and background from a former apprentice under Frank Lloyd Wright to a current sole proprietor with her own successful firm in NYC. Although their paths differed, many shared overlapping passions for community building, social justice, and good design. I was happy to listen and capture their historical experiences in hopes of inspiring future generations to continue working towards their common goals.
I am excited to contribute to the PGDG! blog while viewing it as a more modern record of stories that are unfolding here in Philadelphia, in real-time. The careers, projects and ideas of the professionals celebrated by PGDG! are constantly evolving. My goal is to shine a spotlight on these women so that others are aware of their great work and can keep an eye on them as a role model, creative leader, or future collaborator. As a reader of the blog last year, I enjoyed the conversations shared between the inaugural PGDG! class, especially when they recognized mutual interests from varying perspectives. After getting a sneak peek at the list of women in next year’s PGDG! class, I have no doubt they will be a catalyst for even more inspiration and collaboration. I can't wait to get started hearing and sharing their stories too.