International Women’s Day – The need for female role models in architecture

As International Women’s Day is celebrated, it is heartening to see that record numbers of women have applied to study architecture-related courses at UK universities in 2019. However, there is still a long way to go before the industry is truly representative, both in the UK and worldwide.

Female role models have a crucial part to play in encouraging other women to choose architecture as a career. Chapman Taylor has been publishing profiles of some of our female architects and designers working at our global studios (who come from a wide variety of international backgrounds), asking them about their motivations for becoming architects, their roles and their experiences working in the industry. Below is a selection of insights from some of our female Polish, Egyptian, French, Thai, Czech, Italian, and British architects.

Marcelina | Gillan

Marcelina Zielinska (Director) – “I knew I wanted to be an architect from the age of eight! It began when our teacher asked what we thought we would grow up to be. I was very good at maths and skilled at drawing – I was full of ideas, and was constantly drawing my visions in little comic books. When I asked my mum what she thought about what my path in life should be, she suggested that I become an architect. I believed in the idea so strongly that, in my mind, I have always been an architect.”

Gillan El Sharnoubi (Interior Designer) – “I had a particular love of art and design, and I was also very good at subjects like physics and maths – so architecture seemed to offer the perfect outlet for my combination of aptitudes when it came to career choices.”

Priscille | Paveena

Priscille Rodriguez (Senior Architect) – “The opportunity offered by Chapman Taylor (allowed) me to take responsibility for the design of a project and nurture it from concept stage. The role itself was the key factor in my choosing to work here – it involved improving designs to make them the very best they could be, which was very attractive to me because it is challenging. “

Paveena Miller (Architectural Designer) – “When it came to choosing a career, architecture was a natural choice, combining elements of the three subjects I enjoyed the most (physics, maths and art). I returned to Bangkok and studied for a bachelor’s degree in Architecture at Chulalongkorn University, before moving to London to study for my master’s at UCL’s Bartlett School. I wanted to work in an international design firm and learn how to design for the highest worldwide standards.”

Petra | Lucy

Petra Klauzova (Architect) – “I enjoy working with Chapman Taylor very much – it’s a great company. You always get all the support you need, not just from people here in London, but from all the international studios. It’s great to work in a team where you know that you can rely on every single person, and that we’re all pulling in the same direction.”

Lucy Flintoff (Associate Director) – “I think it is vital for younger architects to understand the importance of the work that we do to the real lives of ordinary people – the Bracknell Regeneration project will positively affect more people than designing a flamboyant luxury penthouse at the Shard. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the latter, but designers can make much more of a beneficial impact upon the lives of many by creating successful and attractive developments like that at The Lexicon. I have been very fortunate that Chapman Taylor has offered me the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects. I feel that I have become a well-rounded architect here, and that has really boosted my confidence.”


Chiara Domenici (Associate Director) – “I am in charge of design management at our Milan studio. We have excellent architects here, and there is a great creative energy at the studio, but it is important to ensure that the quality of design is the very best because the standard of competition in Italy is very high. We work in various sectors and with many different clients, and so we are used to creating designs in widely varying architectural styles, as required. My role is to ensure that design quality is uniformly high no matter what the brief.”

Chapman Taylor wants to see more women choosing architecture and design as a career. It is our belief that a wide range of experiences play a priceless role in our creative success – bringing a synthesis of the very best and latest design ideas from all perspectives.

Fore more information, please contact:

caret-down-skewed caret-down-thin caret-down caret-left-thick caret-left-white caret-left caret-right-thick caret-right-white caret-right caret-up chinese cross download english facebook grid instagram linked-in list mail map pinterest play-button reset search-nobg search-square share twitter views wechat youtube