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Mar 18, 2021

Natasha Espada AIA

Espada Headshot1

Jim Davis, Boston Globe

Principal, STUDIO ENÉE architects
2020 BSA President


BS in Architecture, University of Florida
Master of Architecture - Certificate in American Urbanism, University of Virginia

What have you learned about yourself as your career has brought you to new places?

I have always highlighted women and minority issues. Recently, I have learned that my involvement with social justice, policy, and advocacy is where I can help create change.

As an elected president of the BSA—one of your many milestones—what is your proudest professional accomplishment?

Our equitable support and initiatives to help members last year with the challenges of COVID, EDI, Racism and Social Injustice.


Tufts University Barnum Hall

Photo: Anton Grassl | ESTO

When did you first become interested in architecture as a possible career?

I became interested in design in high school but did not know architecture was my path. My father thought that I could combine my interest in art and math by studying architecture.

If you could give the you of 10 years ago advice, what would it be?

Your path is not linear. Prepare yourself to meet different challenges and opportunities. It is up to you what you make of them.

Has your career taken you anywhere you didn’t expect?

I never expected to start a firm and to be as involved with the BSA/AIA. I also never expected to be involved in Town Government.

Do you believe that architecture/design can save the world?

I believe that as architects and planners, we are responsible for the successes and failures of the design of our cities and the built environment. We have the responsibility to educate ourselves on past mistakes and to use our knowledge and expertise to advocate for equitable and innovative solutions to the many challenges facing society.


Bentley University Falcone Hall

Image: STUDIO ENÉE architects

What do you see as the largest barrier to equity in the profession?

The lack of diversity of leadership in firms and in the profession. As a woman or a minority, if you don’t see someone like yourself in the profession, it is unlikely you will pursue it or decide to remain in it.

What policy from another city sets an example you think Boston could successfully follow?

I was very impressed with the importance and priority of design, innovation, and the environment when I visited Copenhagen. I learned that it is supported by policy from the municipalities.

What do you most enjoy when partnering on a project?

I enjoy the creative collaboration and process of our partnerships including clients, consultants, communities, and other designers/architects.

What’s on your bookshelf right now?

The Color of Law—A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein

What would you like to see change about Boston’s built environment?

I would like to see design in Boston that is inspired by the cultures and contexts of the neighborhoods that it serves.


Parcel H LIfe Science Building and Paviion Collaboration with Arrowstreet & Moody Nolan