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Women in Design: ADVOCATE! for Community (Hybrid)

Wi D 220829 Advocate for Community event graphic
  • COST

    Free and open to the public.

  • TYPE

    Knowledge Community



ADVOCATE! For Community: A discussion with Ann Beha and Natasha Espada on advancing equity and meaningful engagement within Architecture

ADVOCATE! is a multi-part series tackling issues of advocacy in practice, workplace, and professional life. Effective advocacy is critical to achieving professional goals at all career stages, whether getting that first opportunity, negotiating, finding (and being!) a good mentor, advancing to leadership positions, and impacting broader societal issues. All require advocacy--through communication, design leadership, service, and a clear set of beliefs and concerns that are actionable and impactful.

The series will identify tools and perspectives to draw from as you advocate for yourself, others within your workplace, and make positive change in the community. Sessions will address specific concerns when tackling these issues and each installment of the series will have a unique format and feature guest speakers. All are welcome and encouraged to join!

9/21 Session
How can architects, and the industry-at-large, leverage their unique societal role to advocate for positive change? Join WiD, Natasha Espada AIA and Ann Beha FAIA for an engaging, interactive examination of what it means to deliver projects through values-driven practice. To kick off the conversation, Espada and Beha will share their experience collaborating on the new, community services building for IBA Boston—Iquilnos Boricuas en Accion, set in Boston’s historic South End. supporting the Latinx community, the project draws on Annes and Natasha’s long commitments to community advocacy and cross disciplinary firm collaboration. Long recognized for their community service, within and outside the profession, Ann and Natasha will also share wider experiences and their impact on their professional practice today.

The discussion will also address platforms for change within architectural practice, and how smart partnerships can provide mutual benefit for firms.
**Note that this discussion is especially pertinent to both individual and firm leadership, and all career levels are encouraged to attend and participate in conversation.

About the Speakers
Ann M. Beha FAIA
Ann Beha FAIA is a national leader in the fields of preservation, adaptive reuse of existing buildings, and contemporary design on historic and sensitive sites. As Design Principal of Ann Beha Architects, she founded and led the practice for more than 35 years, and with the ABA team, built a national and international practice. She is now senior collaborating architect to Annum Architects.

Ann’s work for the US Department of State, the Smithsonian distinguishes the firm for its national leadership. Her designs have reset expectations for existing buildings, introducing innovative contemporary design to legacy settings. Ann’s current work includes academic, museum, library, and community service buildings, from planning through design and construction delivery. Recognized nationally and internationally, Ann has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Chapter of the Victorian Society in America, the Women in Design Award of Excellence as well as the Honor Award from the Boston Society of Architects, and the Award of Honor from the US Department of State, Overseas Building Operations.

A graduate of Wellesley College, Ann received a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, serves on Harvard’s Campus Design Advisory Council. She has taught at City College of New York and in 2023 will be Distinguished Visiting Professor of Design at Yale University. Ann’s greatest joy is her collaboration with her teams and clients, advocating architecture that serves and inspires, and reflects the mission and voice of stakeholders and the community.

Natasha Espada AIA, NOMA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal
Natasha Espada is the Founding Principal of STUDIO ENÉE architects. She has over 25 years of design and construction expertise in both renovation and new construction for institutional, civic, cultural, and commercial clients. Natasha was the 2020 President of the Boston Society of Architects (BSA)/AIA and co-chair of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice Task Force. She has been a speaker on Equity and Practice at the AIA Grassroots Conference in Washington, D.C., AIA Connecticut’s Equity Summit, and a juror for the 2021 AIA Impact Awards. Natasha is an active member of the BSA’s Women’s Principal's group, a presenter at the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, the curator of the WID exhibit: Urban Interventions: Women Designing in Boston, and part of the 2022 AIA Puerto Rico Women in Architecture Exhibit. Natasha has been an Adjunct Professor at Northeastern University and a design critic/lecturer at Harvard GSD, MIT, Yale, Wentworth, MassArt, Roger Williams, Auburn, and the BAC. She is a member of the Town of Needham's Planning Board, Climate Action Plan Committee, Co-Chair of Needham's Affordable Housing Planning Group, and Board Member for Needham United Against Racism. Natasha is a graduate of the University of Florida, holds a Master’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia with a certificate in American Urbanism, and, in 2021, was awarded an honorary doctorate from Wentworth Institute of Technology.