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Merrill Elam, Jeanne Gang Among Winners of New ‘Women in Architecture’ Awards

(Timothy Hursley)

There’s a new set of design honors up for grabs, and those with a Y chromosome need not apply. Architectural Record is recognizing the design leadership of women architects with its Women in Architecture Awards, which will be presented on October 9 in Manhattan following the magazine’s Innovation Conference. The five inaugural recipients, selected by an independent panel of architects, scholars, and critics, and announced this week, are:

  • Design Leader, honoring an architect with significant built work and influence: Merrill Elam of Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects
  • New Generation Leader, honoring an architect who is rising in the profession: Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang
  • Innovator, honoring an architect who has made a mark in innovative design, materials or building type: Sheila Kennedy of Kennedy & Violich Architecture
  • Activist, honoring an architect who has used her skills to design for social change, effect the public realm or perform pro bono work: Erinn McGurn of SCALEAfrica
  • Educator, honoring a professional who has helped the advancement of women: Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, former dean of the University of Miami’s School of Architecture


“We aim to honor and celebrate women, and to advance the conversation about their role in the field,” said Architectural Record editor-in-chief Cathleen McGuigan in a statement announcing the winners. “Though women now make up 43 percent of the architecture students in the U.S., they account for only 21 percent of licensed architects in firms. Only 17 percent of partners and principals of firms are women. But the good news is that there’s a growing contingent of women designers whose architecture is having a profound impact on the built environment.”

Pictured: The Ohio State University’s Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, designed by Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

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