Natasha Espada AIA
Principal, STUDIO ENÉE architects
2020 BSA President
BS in Architecture, University of Florida
Master of Architecture - Certificate in American Urbanism, University of Virginia
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.
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.
Your path is not linear. Prepare yourself to meet different challenges and opportunities. It is up to you what you make of them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I enjoy the creative collaboration and process of our partnerships including clients, consultants, communities, and other designers/architects.
The Color of Law—A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
I would like to see design in Boston that is inspired by the cultures and contexts of the neighborhoods that it serves.