A show featuring Los Angeles' leading women in architecture and discussing relevant issues in the profession. Episodes have two formats: interview features or issue-specific episodes. The goal of the podcast is to promote equity in the profession and create a community for feminist architects.
Interview with Annie Chu – XX|LA Episode 031
Annie Chu is an architect, interior designer, educator, and a founding principal of the award-winning firm Chu+Gooding Architects. Annie is an alumnus of Sci-Arc and Columbia, and trained for 11 years with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in New York and Frank Israel in Beverly Hills before starting her own practice in 1996. Chu+Gooding Architects works on projects of many scales, from design of objects to residential homes, to exhibition design, and world-class arts, cultural, and higher education projects. LA locals will be familiar with the Hollywood Bowl Concession stands, the Autry Resource Center addition and renovation, and USC’s Hoffman Hall interior renovation, just to name a few projects. One of the things I admire about Annie is her impact upon our profession, on top of her firm’s achievements. Annie champions Interior Architecture as a distinct and emerging discipline, and received the Leadership Award of Excellence from IIDA So Cal in 2014. She also received the Presidential Honoree Educator Award from AIA|LA in 2016 and has dedicated 30 years to teaching. She serves on the City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Commission, AIA Interior Architecture Advisory Group, Contract Magazine's editorial advisory board, and numerous design award juries, and has been Vice President on IIDA International Board of Directors and Board Director to AIA|LA.
To find out more about Annie and Chu+Gooding Architects, visit cg-arch.com or follow them @chugooding on social media.
Interview with Lise Bornstein – XX|LA Episode 030
After a pandemic-induced break, it's a pleasure to kick off new episodes of the podcast with guest Lise Bornstein, architect and partner at KFA Architecture. I feel like this interview is long-overdue, because Lise is someone who I have a ton of respect for, and feel lucky to call a mentor and a friend. Lise graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture and received her Masters of Architecture from Sci-Arc. Lise joined KFA in 2001, and was elevated to the role of partner in 2016. Lise gives back to her community in many ways, she is on the board of Step up on Second and just became president of AWAF, the Association for Women in Architecture Foundation. AWAF kickstarted this podcast through their Professional Development Fellowship, not only through funding, but also by offering a network of supporters. You can support fellowship projects for mid-career professionals, and scholarships for highly deserving young women through a tax deductible donation to AWAF or participate in their fundraising auction the first two weeks in December. Please visit awaplusd.org/foundation to learn more.
Interview with Helena Arahuete – XX|LA Episode 029
Helena Arahuete started working for John Lautner in 1971 and rose to the role of Chief Architect in his office. She continues today as Principal of Lautner Associates, most recently completing the restoration of the Bob and Dolores Hope House in Palm Springs.
This is a very unique two-part episode featuring conversations with Helena Arahuete. I first met Helena at Palm Springs Modernism Week in February. Part 1 is an edited recording of interviews she did with eighth graders Abrianna Pingleton, Shelomith Hoy, Tyler Bloomer, Santiago Garza, and Julia Fidel from Ms. Patton’s class at the St. Theresa Catholic School. Part 2 is my follow up with Helena after we returned home to Los Angeles.
Interview with Kishani De Silva – XX|LA Episode 028
Kishani DeSilva has worked in the architecture and design industries for over twenty years in the project and major program management arena. Prior to her current appointment in local government, she worked as a management consultant following her time as a project manager at Foster + Partners in London. Her current work as an Executive Advisor with the executive office of the Los Angeles County Development Authority focuses on homelessness and the affordable housing shortfall in Los Angeles. Additionally, as adjunct faculty at Woodbury University, she taught a graduate level practice class focusing on a management, leadership and entrepreneurship segment. Kishani's work relating to housing innovation, sustainability and the business of design have been published in Next City, 2019; Metropolis, 2016 and DesignIntelligence, 2012. She has a MSc in Major Program Management from the University of Oxford, England, an executive leadership certification from Cornell and a BArch from Woodbury University. She is also a Board member of Ten Thousand Villages Pasadena—an entity working for social and economic justice for marginalized populations in the developing world. Kishani is former President and Board member of the Association for Women in Architecture + Design, and leads the 50:50 x 2020 Initiative for gender equity.
Interested in finding out more about 50:50 x 2020 Initiative? Two upcoming events:
50:50 x 2020 Celebration on Friday, March 27, 2020
AIA '20 Convention Session: "50:50 x 2020: 10 LA Firms Commit to Gender Equity" on Thursday, May 14, 2020
Interview with Christina Monti – XX|LA Episode 027
Christina Monti, owner of CDM Consulting, started her career in landscape architecture after graduating from Texas A&M University. A self-proclaimed non-designer (I don't quite buy that she "stinks" at design), Christina became an expert in marketing and business development. In this episode, we discuss the skills needed for being good at business development. Spoiler alert--they are skills, and can be worked on and learned!
Christina and I got to know each other through the Association for Women in Architecture + Design (AWA+D), where she served on the board as Communications Director, and then President. She currently serves on the board of the Association for Women in Architecture Foundation (AWAF), AWA+D's sister organization that provides scholarships and fellowships to female students and practitioners. Christina and I also discuss what it's like to volunteer on a board, and she offers great advice.
Connect with Christina via Linked In
Or you have two opportunities to meet Christina (and me) in person:
AWA+D and AIA|LA WiA Holiday Mixer on Dec. 5
AWAF Holiday Party and Fundraiser on Dec. 7
Sci-Arc Spin Room with Ning Lui, Kristy Balliet, and Barbara Bestor–XX|LA Episode 026
This episode is a live recording from Sci-Arc graduate thesis Spin Room, with student (now graduate) Yi Ning Lui, her advisor Kristy Balliet of BairBalliet, and distinguished alumnus Barbara Bestor of Bestor Architecture. In this episode we talk about the experience of the thesis project from the student and the advisor/practitioner perspective.
You can watch the video recording from this conversation through Sci-Arc’s vimeo channel at https://livestream.com/accounts/21300942/events/8798849