The Women Shaping Cities: Who to Follow, What to Read, Watch and Listen to
On the occasion of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a selection of sources what to read, watch, listen to, or follow to amplify the female voices acting to improve the built environment.
Women have come a long way in the quest for equality across professions and industries. While the situation is still far from ideal, the shift in the status quo is explicit, and things are gradually changing for the better.
The good news is that all of us can be an ally to the cause. One simple thing everyone can do to contribute is educating ourselves — learning about female practitioners and theorists, reading articles by women and about women in the industry while highlighting female voices.
Since the beginning, reSITE has worked to strike gender balance both on the stage, in the audience and now with our content. By bringing together a diverse portfolio of voices, we believe we can create provocative conversations around city-making that reflects the needs of inhabitants more honestly, ultimately creating more socially balanced communities.
What to Read...
Madame Architect is an online magazine focusing on women currently shaping the architecture industry. It features female practitioners across backgrounds and areas of expertise. The platform has been founded by women in architecture aiming to empower and give advice to other female professionals whose experiences are often not reflected in male-dominated media.
Looking for some other reads? While the focus is not solely on works of women, designboom and World Architecture Community, two desgin media powerhouses are both founded and headed by two female editors-in-chief, Birgit Lohman and Berrin Chatzi Chousein, respectively. Another worthy mention is ArchDaily's managing editor, Christele Harrouk.
What to read from reSITE
At the core of WallaceLiu’s projects is a design practice called adaptive reuse. In the age of the quest for sustainability, adaptive reuse is becoming more of a necessity for city-makers worldwide.
Bianca Wylie is a Toronto-based, open-government advocate among the early critics to raise concerns about privacy issues of the Sidewalk Lab’s now-defunct controversial smart neighborhood proposal on Toronto’s waterfront land.
Dara Huang is an award winning architect and founder of Design Haus Liberty, an architectural firm that often works with clients to design high-end buildings.
Associate Director and Senior Architect for UNStudio, Marianthi Tatari, says that technology is the driving force behind the design for uncertainty and the future of our cities.
Leona Lynen sets a path for a publicly-planned revitalization of Berlin’s Haus der Statistik in the wake of a unique opportunity for Berliners to partner with their government.
reSITE aims to do its part in elevating female voices as an opportunity to achieve social balance in architecture and design. By bringing together all different backgrounds we can create provocative conversations around housing and quality of life that reflects the different needs of everyone.
What to Listen to...
To enhance your understanding of city-making in the globalized world, particularly through the eyes of women, catch the Third Wave Urbanism podcast launched by two female urbanists Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman and Kristen Jeffers. In thirty-seven episodes, they touch upon critical topics in city-making, explaining the way cities operate for their inhabitants and focusing specifically on the matters of equality and social inclusion.
Or, catch the former Chief City Planner of Toronto, Jennifer Keesmaat's podcast Invisible City - which aims to shape the global conversation on 21st century city sharing positive and unique stories that illuminate the complexity of city living. Or catch Design Voice Podcast exclusively features conversations with women who shape the build environment.
Our love for podcasts doesn't end there. One of the longest running podcasts of all time, Design Matters, is headed by Debbie Millman, which has featured designers, writers, artists, curators, musicians, thought-leaders and other creatives who share insights their stories about their way of becoming professionals.
Design and the City
This year reSITE launched a new podcast called Design and the City, featuring female speakers like Leona Lynen (ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin), Yoko Choy (Wallpaper* Magazine), Marianthi Tatari (UNStudio) and Kate Wagner (McMansion Hell) who shared their insights on their respective fields through the lens of urban regeneration at reSITE 2019 REGENERATE. The podcast is also directed and hosted by Alexandra Siebenthal, reSITE's digital communications manager.
A rising tide that raises all ships—Julia Gamolina’s efforts with Madame Architect in building a culture of community and collaboration give the diverse stories, perspectives, and the women they belong to a seat at the table. Listen to her episode on Design and the City. Photo courtesy of Sylvie Rosokoff
A vast, unoccupied administration building in the heart of Berlin at Alexanderplatz - Haus der Statistik - has become a prototype for gentrification done right. Hear from Leona, a member of the cooperative, ZUsammenKUNFT, as she discusses how they are developing a mixed-use urban space oriented towards the common good. Photo courtesy of Nils Koenning
Can rethinking and redesigning the ways birth is approached shift the outcomes of labor and birth experiences? Can it be instrumental in improving our qualities of life--in our environments, in cities, and beyond? Architect and founder of Doula x Design Kim Holden join Design and the City to explore how she sees birth as a design problem. Photo by Kate Carlton Photography
Associate Director and Senior Architect at UNStudio, Marianthi Tatari, dissects different aspects of city-making that threaten the quality of life such as mono-functional spaces and commoditized smart cities and how to approach designing them with optimism. Photo courtesy of UNStudio
We are taking on the devastating Beirut explosion with two of the city's natives. They will share their perspectives on what rebuilding the city of Beirut could look like after such an unbelievable event. Photo courtesy of Rami Rizk.
Managing editor of Wallpaper* magazine China - Yoko Choy - is on a mission to translate insights from eastern and western design spheres into a common creative language. Listen as she discusses their similarities and differences with Beatrice Leanza, (MAAT), Jamie Wallace and Jee Liu (WallaceLiu). Photo courtesy of Damo Yang.
What to Watch...
reSITE aims to do it’s part in elevating female voices as an opportunity to achieve social balance in architecture and design. Every year at our events, we work to curate an outstanding portfolio of women, experts in their discipline to speak on our 360-degree stage.
We've compiled a compilation of talks and lectures from reSITE's featured presentations from various events over the past 8 years. But don't stop there! Catch the whole playlist featuring a plethora of inspiring women in the fields of design, architecture, city planning and beyond on the reSITE YouTube channel.
Watch reSITE's #WomenMakeCities playlist
Saskia Sassen, professor of sociology at Columbia University, discusses the migrant experience relating to land use and the urban habitat. She focuses on the privatizing and corporatizing of modern cities and how these trends affect the people living in cities, especially disadvantaged and ignored populations.
Caroline Bos is a co-founder of UNStudio based out of Amsterdam. She talks with reSITE about resilient design and her belief is that architecture is not about creating something perfect, but something inspired and designed for people to be in safely.
Kazuyo Sejima, founding partner of Tokyo-based SANAA discusses her approach to design in the modern world.
Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, speaks on the importance of sound in architecture and the evolving role of the architect in an increasingly multidisciplinary world. She contemplates how to design buildings that transcend time and withstand the continuous evolution of the activities and art forms that will exist within them.
Bianca Wylie has made waves in the urban design world for speaking out against digital surveillance. She has cast a spotlight on the implications of data mining by private corporations and the commoditization of the data gathered from citizens in public spaces.
Associate Director and Senior Architect and UNStudio Marianthi Tatari believes that technology can play a role in creating more sustainable cities and applies an optimistic approach to its role in our public spaces in lieu of the growing controversies.
Leni Schwendinger, the founder of NightSeeing™ and the International Nighttime Design Initiative, discusses the role of lighting design to create a 24-hour city, aiming to utilize lighting design to activate after-hours urban spaces, where people in public feel safe and included.
Janette Sadik-Khan, former Commissioner of the Department of Transportation of New York City, discusses programs implemented in her time in the department and the positive changes these have made. She especially focused on safety and community opinion in her policies, and presents how they made safety programs appeal to people and how much safer she made the streets for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
Mimi Hoang, founder of nArchitects, discusses public space versus domestic space and affordable housing. She believes that the urban environment should encourage people to spend time in it and make the city space their own.
Charlot Schans from Pakhuis de Zwijger, an event and speaker platform based out of Amsterdam, talks about urban development for the refugee crisis. She emphasizes the importance of involving migrants and refugees to create livable shelters and city making for migrants and refugees.
Marlena Happach, a Chief Architect for the city of Warsaw, discusses current issues facing Warsaw in regards to city planning and livability. She references expensive and dificult public transportation and lack of high quality public spaces as two things she wants to address, using Copenhagen as a model.
Gilly Karjevsky, a Berlin-based independent artist, curator and co-director of ‘72 Hour Urban Action’, talks about the potential urban wastelands hold as sites of public-facing urban intervention that focus on local communities on a human scale.
Who to Follow...
We've rounded-up some inspiring women, some even past reSITE speakers making waves in the urbanism, design and architecture spheres of social media. Follow, get inspired, engage and be a part of the conversation!
Part W is an action group of women campaigning for gender parity across the built environment. #WeArePartW
Bianca Wylie, Tech Reset
Tech Reset founder and reSITE speaker, Bianca Wylie has been called the Jane Jacobs of Smart Cities, blowing the whistle on the technology companies meddling in public spaces for data-harvest, and ultimately, profit.
Leni Schwendinger, Night Seeing
Leni Schwendinger is a public lighting theorist and reSITE alum that works toward creating wonderous environments, particularly in nighttime design.
Scientists analyzed 1,700 cities RE: safe-street design. How does the way we design our cities affect the #publichealth burden? Get people out of cars in the first place, to design cities to use motor vehicles less. #walkability #streetdesign #urbandesignhttps://t.co/cwncm7eDrX— Leni Schwendinger (@Leni_Light) February 21, 2020
Jennifer Keesmaat, Former Chief City Planner of Toronto
Former Chief Planner for the City of Toronto and renowned urbanist, Jennifer is an visionary voice in the advocating for progressive urbanist changes in the Canadian capital.
For reasons that are difficult to explain, we have accepted the long commute as the foundation of modern life. But imagine living within a 15 minute walk of everything that you need on a typical day. The 15-minute neighborhood is a better way to live. https://t.co/8XycH7xwIK— Jennifer Keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) March 3, 2020
Black Females in Architecture
Black Females in Architecture is "a network elevating the visibility of Black Females in architecture and the built environment."
Happy International Women's Day to all from us in BFA!! May we all today, tomorrow and everyday going forward celebrate the vast acheivements of women and our unlimited potential! ????????????#InternationalWomensDay #InternationalWomenDay2020 #IWD pic.twitter.com/1XAlcyRJsI— Black Females in Architecture (@BlackFemArc) March 8, 2020
Kate Wagner, McMansion Hell
Past reSITE speaker Kate Wagner, founder of the funny-because-its-true McMansion Hell blog which picks apart American “luxury homes,” exposing them for the extreme waste of resources and heinous architecture that they really are while her sarcasm makes architecture criticism more accessible.
Follow #WomenMakeCities across social platforms and join in on the conversation striving for gender equality.