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Women Shaping Communities Through the Power of Architecture

I had the pleasure of attending the 10th AIA Cleveland Women in Architecture event, held at Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative in celebration of Women’s History Month on March 21, 2022. The evening’s topic was “Women Shaping Communities Through the Power of Architecture.”

Women Shaping Communities Through the Power of Architecture with Aya shlachter

The event focused on the contributions that local women architects and designers were making in shaping northeast Ohio communities. Through a moderated panel, esteemed panelists, Sandra Madison, AIA, NCARB, CEO, Chairperson of Robert P. Madison International, Dawn Mayes, Assoc. AIA, NOMA, Kent State University CUDC Director of Design Entrepreneurship and Inclusion, and Allison Lukacsy-Love, AIA, AICP, Managing Director, Major Projects at Greater Cleveland Partnership, shared their insights, experiences, and strategies regarding the diverse ways women architects were shaping our built environment to drive positive change.

Sandra Madison’s Insight

Sandra discussed “Women Shaping Communities Through The Power of Architecture.” She emphasized the importance of community engagement in design and understanding other cultures. She advised not to impose one’s cultural perspective, but rather to welcome and voice the opinions of others. She highlighted that women are excellent collaborators who listen, understand, and find the best solutions for their clients.

Dawn Mayes’ Contribution

Dawn spoke about consistency and understanding commitment. She stressed the importance of small victories, listening intently to the community’s needs, and building trust through small, incremental changes. She advocated for diversity in thought, experience, and design, and the creation of inclusive spaces suitable for all cultures. She underscored the importance of establishing relationships with the community first, asking the community about their needs, and working in community development.

Allison Lukacsy-Love’s Perspective

Allison focused on the importance of history and existing conditions. She spoke about surfacing stories, the interplay of form and function, and the power of observation as key to building the right communities. She highlighted the value of peer-to-peer connections and ensuring community members feel heard. She also emphasized the need for empathy, noting that women are natural caretakers.

Parting Thoughts

Remember, stay open-minded, be ready to pivot, and always design with an open slate. Listen, understand, and build trust.
I’d like to extend my gratitude to Nora Hoxha, Amber Price and AIA Cleveland and WIA for organizing such an enlightening event. As the founder of MGS Global, a proud annual sponsor of the Women In Architecture Events, it is important to me to support initiatives that pave the path for aspiring architects and leaders.
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.

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