5 episodes

Beverly Willis is adding her voice to a new podcast featuring discussions about the lives and careers of female pioneers of American Architecture. Going beyond the scholarship of the award-winning website Pioneering Women of American Architecture, our podcast New Angle: Voice details the struggles and triumphs of six leading women who have personified achievement in a primarily male dominated field.

New Angle: Voice Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 120 Ratings

Beverly Willis is adding her voice to a new podcast featuring discussions about the lives and careers of female pioneers of American Architecture. Going beyond the scholarship of the award-winning website Pioneering Women of American Architecture, our podcast New Angle: Voice details the struggles and triumphs of six leading women who have personified achievement in a primarily male dominated field.

    Episode 1: Finding Julia Morgan

    Episode 1: Finding Julia Morgan

    Welcome to New Angle: Voice. Episode 1 takes us on an earthquaking tour from San Francisco to Paris and back, with Julia Morgan (1872-1957), the first woman to attend the architecture program at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the first woman to receive the AIA Gold Medal.
    Special thanks in this episode to Brandi Howell, Alexandra Lange, Julia Donoho, Karen McNeill, Victoria Kastner, Karen Fiene, Justin Hoover, Amy Hart and Jim Parks, the women of the Monday Club of San Luis Obispo, Laura Sorvetti, Mark Wilson, and Aislinn McNamara. The archival audio of Sara Holmes Boutelle is from Boutelle's Julia Morgan collection at the Special Collections and Archives, Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo.
    New Angle: Voice is produced by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. Your host is Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA.  

    • 40 min
    Episode 2: Natalie de Blois – To Tell The Truth

    Episode 2: Natalie de Blois – To Tell The Truth

    Natalie de Blois (1921–2013) contributed to some of the most iconic modernist works for corporate America, all while raising four children.  After leaving this significant mark on post-war Park Avenue, she transferred to the SOM Chicago office, where she became actively involved in the architecture feminist movement and was one of the leaders in the newly formed Chicago Women in Architecture advocacy group.  Later, she finished her career as a professor at UT Austin, where she trained a future generation of architects.  
    As an architect, Natalie loved systems – understanding how things worked.  For her, it wasn’t just pretty buildings, she challenged the code and questioned the status quo. And like the buildings she designed, there was a certain complexity to Natalie herself.  She was a woman of resilient beauty, inspiring yet distant, ahead of her time.  Often overshadowed by her male counterparts, we hope to shed light on her life’s work and legacy.
    Special thanks to Gabrielle Esperdy, Audrey Matlock, Carol Krinsky, Carol Ross Barney, Margaret McCurry, Peter Dixon, John Newman, Liz Watykus, Julia Murphy and Robert de Blois.  The archival audio of Natalie de Blois interviewed by Betty Blum is from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architects Oral History Project.  Thank you to Nathaniel Parks, Director of the  Art Institute of Chicago Archives, for your help with this recording.  
    This podcast is produced by Brandi Howell, with editorial advising from Alexandra Lange.  Special thanks to Matt Alvarez and Iowa Public Radio for their production assistance.  New Angle Voice is brought to you by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, with support from Knoll, a MillerKnoll company and SOM.

    • 48 min
    Episode 3: Fast Food and Radical Rooflines: Helen Fong Shapes Los Angeles Coffee Shops

    Episode 3: Fast Food and Radical Rooflines: Helen Fong Shapes Los Angeles Coffee Shops

    Who hasn't had a burger and fries at a Denny's or Bob's Big Boy?  There are thousands of them, not just in Los Angeles, where they were born, but across the country.  These family restaurants are core to how America defined itself after World War II. Cars, families, space flight, modernism....the new world order.... And who defined that fun and futuristic look?  Our pioneering LA woman architect: Helen Fong.  
    She was born in 1927 in Los Angeles Chinatown where her immigrant parents ran a laundry that she often worked at as a child.  The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was still intact, and you can imagine this presented many challenges for Helen as she grew up.  
    She went on to create some of LA’s most iconic diners, which are still celebrated by legions of fans.  These landmarks have cemented their place in pop culture.  Strip malls and roadside attractions, driving with the top down, hair blowing in the wind and another day of sunshine.  
    Helen’s design work helped create this image, yet many don’t know the story of the woman who they have to thank.  On today’s episode:  Fast Food and Radical Rooflines: Helen Fong Shapes Los Angeles Coffee Shops.
    Special thanks in this episode to Hadley Meares, Victor Newlove, Barbara Bestor, Jim Poulos, Annie Chu, Phoebe Yee, Chris Nichols, John English, and Ginny Glass.  
    This podcast is produced by Brandi Howell, with editorial advising from Alexandra Lange.   New Angle Voice is brought to you by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, with support from Knoll, a MillerKnoll company and SOM.

    • 30 min
    Episode 4: Norma Sklarek: An Extremely Bold Hand

    Episode 4: Norma Sklarek: An Extremely Bold Hand

    Norma Sklarek had many “firsts”.  She was often credited at the start of her career as the first Black Women architect to be licensed in the United States.  That distinction actually goes to Beverly Greene – Norma was the 3rd.   But it didn’t matter.   Young black girls read her name in the likes of Ebony Magazine – a staple publication in every black household at the time –  when she was included in their 1958 article on “Successful Young Architects”.  As more and more discovered her career, she became their role model. Like so many women, then and now, she chose a management path.  Achievement was measurable, ambition was acceptable, and competence over pizazz was a vital and necessary counterpoint to charismatic male designers in firms with large scale complex projects.  As a woman and as an African American, the design path was simply not open to her, and she needed to work, she had two boys to support, and without any shame, she needed to get paid. So her work often fell shadow to the lead designer.  She was the project manager, the woman behind the scenes who made sure things got done…
    And yet, despite the groundbreaking achievements of Norma, what is the current state of black women in the field of architecture?  In the 2020 AIA Demographic survey, the association counted 94,000 members.  23,500 of these are women.  There are 691 Black Women architects.  As each Black woman achieves her license, it is a matter of pride to add consecutively to that very small number. It’s a matter of shame that it is still so small.
    On today’s episode, Norma Sklarek: An Extreme Bold Hand.
    Special thanks to Kate Diamond, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Roberta Washington, Gail Kennard, Michael Enomoto and Gruen Associates, Pat Morton, Jack Travis, Beth Gibb, Alexandra Lange, and Suzanne Mecs.  The archival recording of Norma Sklarek is from the African American Architects of Los Angeles collection at the UCLA Library Center for Oral History Research.
    This podcast is produced by Brandi Howell, with editorial advising from Alexandra Lange.   New Angle Voice is brought to you by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, with support from Knoll, a MillerKnoll company and SOM.

    • 38 min
    Episode 5: Florence Knoll: Total Design

    Episode 5: Florence Knoll: Total Design

    With her legendary unerring taste and a total commitment to produce absolute perfection in her self, her work, her products, and how she would be remembered, Florence Knoll is generally recognized as the single most powerful figure in the field of modern design.  
     
    As an architect, Florence was the force behind the seamless integration of furniture, space, textile, art, graphic design into a perfect brand concept:  Total Design.  Her influence transcends the specific disciplines, she was the force integrating them, and in her work at the Knoll Planning Unit, she promulgated the values that still motivate architects and designers today:  solve the program with scale and detailing appropriate to the interior in support of how people behave in the active environment.  
    Here she is:  Florence Knoll:  Total Design.


    Special thanks in this episode to Paul Makovsky, Bobbye Tigerman, Alexandra Lange,  Dorothy Cosonas, David Bright, Celia Bertoia, Alana Stevens, and Kathy Hiesinger and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  The archival audio of Florence Knoll is provided by the Knoll Archives.  Thank you to Leah Kalotay for your help with this recording.  
    This podcast is produced by Brandi Howell, with editorial advising from Alexandra Lange.   New Angle Voice is brought to you by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, with support from Knoll, a MillerKnoll company and SOM.

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
120 Ratings

120 Ratings

eg portland ,

More please!

Love this podcast. Hope more episodes will be coming.

Alexmiddel ,

I love this podcast

Wonderful show, and so necessary. Keep making more episodes! Add women landscape architects! Designers of all kinds! Thank you!

N. J. Perkins, FIDSA ,

Finding Julia Morgan

Thank you for creating this inspiring account of Morgan’s life and career path! Your work is so important for future generations to understand and appreciate.

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