AIA Cleveland’s Women in Architecture Celebration 2023

I had the pleasure of attending the 9th AIA Cleveland Women in Architecture event held at The House of Blues in celebration of Women’s History Month on March 30, 2023. The evening’s topic was “Connecting Culture, Language, and Tradition through Design,” presented by guest of honor Tamarah Begay.

Tamarah is a professor of Architecture at the University of New Mexico, President of the American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers, a recipient of the 40 under 40 award, and has received the AIA New Mexico Elevate- Young Architects Award. She is also an activist for Women in Architecture.

The Importance Of Diversity In Design

During her presentation, Tamarah stressed the significance of diversity of thought in design. She elaborated on how indigenous communities approach design, which involves a deep understanding of the environment and a connection with nature. Tamarah also shared her own experiences working with indigenous communities and how it has shaped her own approach to design. She emphasized that diversity of thought is key to creating design solutions that are not only visually appealing but also sustainable and culturally relevant.

Understanding Shapes the Design Process 

Architects who take the time to listen to stories from people and the environment can design with a deeper understanding of the community’s needs and the space’s history. By slowing down the design process, architects can gain a greater appreciation for the history of the spaces, people, and the environment they are working with, leading to better outcomes. Additionally, taking the time to understand the history of a space can lead to more sustainable design solutions that take into account the needs of the local environment and its inhabitants. Therefore, architects can create designs that are not only functional but also respectful of the local community and environment. Tamarah’s emphasis on slowing down the design process highlights the importance of taking the time to understand the context in which architects are working, leading to more meaningful and impactful designs.

Who is at your Design Table?

During Tamarah’s insightful discussion, she emphasized the importance of taking the time to listen and communicate effectively in the design process. She also highlighted the benefits of collaborating with a diverse community to achieve the best outcomes. By inviting people with different perspectives and experiences to the design table, new ideas can be generated, and a broader range of voices can be heard. This not only helps to create more inclusive and thoughtful designs but also fosters a deeper sense of community and understanding. So, I urge you to consider who is currently at your design table and who you could reach out to in order to broaden your perspectives and enrich your design process. The more voices that are included, the more impactful and meaningful the end result will be.

Thank You From MGS Global 

MGS Global is an annual sponsor of the Cleveland Women In Architecture Events. The company was founded by Aya Garcia-Shlachter, an Asian American entrepreneur who also founded the Architect My Life Community. This community supports female creative entrepreneurs in growing their businesses while maintaining a work-life balance. Tune in to the Architect My Life Podcast to learn from Aya and other notable female business owners about how to succeed in the creative industry.

MGS Global Group is a female-minority-owned company. It’s important for our founder, Aya, to support events like this as they pave the path for aspiring architects and leaders. Therefore, MGS Global would like to express its gratitude to Nora Hoxha, LEED AP, Assoc AIA, NOMA and Melanie Lewis, AIA, IIDA – AIA Cleveland Board of Directors | Co-chair of WIA+ Committee, for organizing this spectacular event.

About MGS Global 

MGS Global Group provides on-demand drafting services for architecture and design firms. We offer our expertise on an as-needed basis to handle project spikes and unforeseen urgent work. You can focus on design while we take care of the rest. Let us know how we can assist you. Talk to us!

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