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Women Redefining the Boundaries of Urban Design

There is increased call for inclusion and diversity in architecture. This London exhibition profiles five female architects and urban designers at the forefront of their profession.
March 9, 2015, 6am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Bob Mical

Lucy Bullivant describes a transition from hard infrastructural models to systems that take the natural and social sciences into account. She asserts that women could lead that shift. From the article: "Green infrastructure, silviculture (trees) and the science of soils, biophilic design, climatic future-proofing and convivial spaces for everyone – 'the soft stuff is the hard stuff' is a common refrain that local borough staff, community groups and some enlightened developers are increasingly adopting as a practical philosophy."

Bullivant is the curator of a London exhibit showcasing the work of five female architects. For some of them, "construction industry obsessed with short-term profit" is a challenge to be overcome: "The role of architect is under pressure, everyday at risk of being pushed aside by value engineering, but these urbanistas know that architecture is one of the very few generalist professions . If you cannot assert your personal values you give up the architect’s duty of care, and you might as well leave the career that you love."

The article echoes repeated calls for architecture and urban design to be more inclusive. Each architect provides her personal perspective on urban design. Bullivant writes, "Each city and town has its own DNA, but urban centres need more support from integrated plans in which people from across the whole community can play an active part. They should feel a greater sense of involvement in the use of local resources, land, waste and renewable energy."

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Published on Thursday, March 5, 2015 in The Guardian Cities
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