i aia

Posted in #aiachat, opinion, Women in Architecture by DS26 on 04.22.2011

In the recent weeks, the American Institute of Architects asked me to participate in an interview about SM.

Of course, I was extremely happy to do so… and even more so, to find myself in the front page.

Now, after that was published, a few friends congratulated me… others did not understand how I got there, and asked… and I came to a realization:

What one gets, or does, with one’s own profession is entirely up to… well, one’s self.

No education, peer, employer, luck or otherwise ungodly external force, will make anything happen for one’s present or future. Some may serve as inspiration, and others as guide, but none will actually get you there.

It’s interesting because though I was there, front page and interviewed, nothing really came out of it except the acknowledgment from a few.

There were no employers lining up to offer me a position, given the very obvious self-propelled enthusiasm and initiative that originally may have landed me there. There were no Social Media or #aiachat novices lining up to ask me questions…

So what then?

I can honestly say I got some time for self-evaluation, and maybe even a (slight) rude awakening.

Ultimately… I gained an understanding of the fact that if I want to be a successful building design and construction professional, then…

it is up to me to lay out the path to get there.


“Chi-rrette” … WIAfund Award # 2

Posted in Women in Architecture by DS26 on 08.01.2010
Do you remember the post [ Meet Marla St. John… ] ?

Well, a new award has been announced as of this morning.


the WIAfund asks :  Can you connect and activate the space ?

On their website they post :

We all know Chicago is an Architecture ‘mecca’.

From Mies to FLW, and SOM, Gehry, Piano, Ando, and the new Krueck+Sexton, Gang…  all have created quite the compilation of architecture within the city’s fabric.

Now, you are next !!

For this award the WIA (Women in Architecture) fund calls you, emerging ladies, to design the next big thing (or small) on Chicago’s waterfront.

Download Award #2 Requirements or international form here

It is a “charrette” as the title quasi-depicts. The deadline for submission is 08/20/10… in just about 20 days.

Good luck ladies !


Meet Marla St. John…

Posted in Women in Architecture by DS26 on 06.01.2010

Marla is the 1st WIA (Women in Architecture) Fund award recipient.

She graduated with a Master in Architecture degree from Louisiana Tech in 2008, finished her IDP requirements, is an Associate AIA member, and is well on her way to becoming a registered Architect.

her link is here [ Marla ]

The fund states

True Story: when we called to tell her, she was returning home from an ARE seminar. Needless to say, we are very proud… Very much well deserved ! :)

[ Marla on “The Tech Talk” ]


About the effort:

Is “In place to support women in their efforts to make progress, become professionals, and become leaders in today’s field of Architecture in the United States.”
website here [ WIA (Women in Architecture) fund ]

Hi, I’m Barbie… & I want(ed) to be an Architect

Posted in opinion, stuff, Women in Architecture by DS26 on 05.29.2010

Hi, I’m Barbie.

I wanted to tell you that I find myself very disappointed.

This year, for my 51st birthday, I wanted to be an Architect.

I thought that by 51 the architecture community would have found it acceptable for me to be recognized in the profession… All of my experiences and all.

Why didn’t you support my dreams ?

Was it because I am a woman ? .. or was it because I am a ‘Bimbo’ ?

I have been called a ‘Bimbo’, many times, but I thought I was simply the doll that all little girls wanted to role play with when they are young. I thought that, my making myself a professional, I could begin to serve as an inspiration to those little girls that maybe, one day, would’ve wanted to become Architects as well.

I might add, ‘Bimbo’ is just an adult-generated stereo-typing name that I have been given, because sometimes I go blond.

Is it that bad to be a blond ? .. or feminine for that matter ?

Truth is, here is a picture of me in 1959… See ? .. Sometimes I’m different.

My makers at Mattel wanted to give me the opportunity to be an Architect this year… in this bad economic environment.

I thought that was nice of them.

The last time they allowed me to run for Architect was in 2002. Almost a decade ago.

Don’t you think if I would’ve become an Architect maybe I could have inspired the young girls, future professionals ? .. or even some of their brothers ? .. or parents for that matter ?

I believe the general public ( you know… those that shop at the stores ? ) would’ve seen ‘Architect’ in the boxes, and maybe done some research into what you all do. Maybe gained some respect, or better perspective into the profession.

Don’t you think so ?

You know, I would’ve left the bathing suit home, and dressed appropriately.

Maybe something like this :

( by professor of architecture Despina Stratigakos; photo published by [Architect Magazine] )

And, after all… my makers and I were inspired… ‘Architect’ seemed like a great title, since this is my new home in Shanghai :

I mean… isn’t it good ?

[Barbie Store, Shanghai – archdaily]

Anyway, I thought maybe you should know.

I guess, instead, I will be another type of ‘Architect’… at least according to Monster and Careerbuilder.

I do sincerely hope next time you think about the fact that the profession of Architecture is for the benefit of the public, therefore they should be better acquainted with and informed about it. It could only help.

This profession’s self-containment is slowly, but surely, being detrimental to its future.

Also ( and this is just in case you have not seen what I can do ) check out the list of all other things I’ve been.. and ask yourself :

Did Barbie ever hurt those professions ?





  • Dentist
  • Doctor (1988, Pediatrician 1994, I can be… Baby Doctor 2008)
  • Nurse (1961)
  • Surgeon (1973)
  • Veterinarian (I can be… Zoo Doctor 2008, I can be… Pet Vet 2009)


  • Paratrooper (2000)
  • United States Army officer (1989, Desert Storm 1992)
  • United States Air Force jet pilot (1990)
  • United States Air Force Thunderbirds (1993)
  • United States Marine Corps officer (1991)
  • United States Navy officer (1991)


  • Ambassador for world peace (1986)
  • United States President (2000)
  • Presidential candidate (Barbie for President 1992, 2004,2008)
  • UNICEF Summit diplomat (1990)

Public service

  • Firefighter (1995)
  • Life guard (Baywatch 1994)
  • Police officer (1993)
  • Canadian Mountie (2005)

Science and Engineering

  • Astronaut (1965, 1985, 25th Apollo 1994)
  • Computer Engineer (I can be… Computer Engineer 2010)
  • Paleontologist (1997)


  • Flight Attendant (American Airlines 1973-75, Flight Time 1989)
  • NASCAR driver (1998, I can be… Race Car Driver 2009)
  • Pilot (1990)
  • Stewardess (American Airlines 1961-64, Pan Am 1966)


  • Artist
  • Athlete (Gold Medal Barbie 1975, Olympic Gymnast Barbie 1996, Olympic Skater Barbie 1997)
  • Babysitter (Barbie Babysits 1963)
  • Ballerina (1961-present)
  • Business executive (1960, 1978, Day to Night 1985, 1999)
  • Cat burglar (Barbie by Christian Louboutin)[1]
  • Cheerleader (1973, Pom Pom Divas 2006, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Barbie 2008)
  • Cowgirl (1981)
  • Chef (1996, I can be… Bakery Chef 2008)
  • DC Comics superheroines
  • Designer (2008)
  • Fashion Model (1959-present)
  • Guest editor of international fashion magazine
  • Hair Dresser (2008)
  • Make-up artist (Barbie loves Mac 2007)
  • McDonald’s cashier (1983)
  • News anchor (I can be… News Anchor 2010)
  • Pet stylist (I can be… Pet Stylist 2008)
  • Photographer
  • Pop singer (Barbie and the Rockers 1986, I can be… Rock Star, 2009)
  • Princess (1990s-present)
  • See’s Candy cashier (2002)
  • Secretary (2007)
  • Sea world trainer (I can be… Sea World Trainer 2009)
  • Soda fountain waitress (Coca Cola Series 1998)
  • Starfleet officer (2000)
  • TV chef (I can be… TV chef, 2008)
  • Wedding stylist (I can be… Wedding Stylist, 2009)