Scott Brownrigg celebrates #Ethelday as part of RIBA International Week

05.07.17

As part of RIBA International Week taking place 3 to 7 July 2017, RIBA celebrates a pioneer of architecture, Ethel Mary Charles, with a day devoted to applauding the achievements of women in architecture and who offer inspiration to the female architects of tomorrow.

Ethel Charles became the first woman architect to join the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in 1898 with her journey fraught with prejudice and complexities. In this time, the perception of women studying and practicing architecture, which were readily available to male peers, restricted Ethel and fellow females of training to become architects. When wanting to join RIBA, one member attempted to obstruct Ethel’s entry by instigating a campaign based on the premise that “it would be prejudicial to the interest of the institute to elect a lady member.”

Despite the prejudice Ethel encountered, she continued to pursue a career as an architect and in June 1898, she passed the RIBA examinations for associate membership. Ethel’s perseverance and passion is cause for celebration, and a reminder to all what determination in what you believe can achieve.

Today Scott Brownrigg looks inwards, and pays tribute to #Ethelday by drawing the spotlight to a few of the Practice's own shining examples of women in architecture.

Helen Taylor

Helen joined Scott Brownrigg in 2014 as Director of Practice and is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of programmes to maintain and enhance the high levels of technical competence and expertise across the whole practice. Well recognised through her collaboration with industry bodies; Helen was a founder member and co-chair of Architects for Change, the RIBA’s Equality & Diversity Forum; Chair of the RIBA Inclusive Design Committee; and Convenor of the RIBA Schools Client Forum. She has recently become co-chair of the new Construction Industry Council Green Construction Panel; is a mentor for the Construction Industry Council Fluid Mentoring Programme; and is involved with the Cabinet Office's Paralympic Legacy project, to improve the inclusive design skills of built environment professionals.

Helen commented on #Ethday day by saying:

“Finding female architect role models has been really important to me. I want to make sure that the next generation has an even bigger selection of inspiring role models”.

Here Helen talks about her role as Director of Practice at Scott Brownrigg.

Albena Atanassova

Albena is an Architect at Scott Brownrigg and has been working in the residential sector since December 2014. Before commencing employment with Scott Brownrigg, Albena worked closely with Grimshaw on a research paper on the Future of Higher Education. In 2013 she joined the RIBA Council as a student member and in 2015 became RIBA Presidential Ambassador for Young Architects (YADA), and is currently involved in a publication on the future of architects in 2034 as part of her role at RIBA.

When asked what #Ethelday means to her, Albena commented:

"Ethel Day demonstrates the profession’s recognition for diversity and inclusion. Over a 100 years ago Ethel faced challenges which in becoming an architect and realising her potential which almost seems hard for us to imagine today. With emerging technologies, changing needs of communities and individuals the nature of our work as architects and the skills required is changing as well. A diverse workforce such as the one at Scott Brownrigg enables us to be responsive collaborators and creators in this new world."

Here Albena talks about being part of RIBA, and an ambassador for young architects.

Nyasa Beale

Nyasa is also an Associate at Scott Brownrigg and joined in 2012. Nyasa from her years of experience has an extensive and detailed knowledge of residential design and has been involved in a number of significant projects of varying sizes; from individual dwellings and small scale luxury apartment schemes through to large scale developments, in both the affordable housing and private sectors.

Here Nyasa discusses career progression at Scott Brownrigg.

Anna Kulik

Anna is an Associate and joined Scott Brownrigg in 2013 working primarily within the commercial and residential sectors, her role involves solving challenging issues on projects of different scales, during all stages of the production process and has extensive experience of working and studying globally in countries including Russia, Spain and China. Anna has played a valuable leading role in the design and delivery of a number of high profile schemes including Skolkovo Business Park and Krylatsky Hills in Moscow.

When asked what #Ethelday means to her, Anna commented:

"Ethel Day reminds us that for too long the Architecture industry has been driven predominantly by men, but it is wonderful to see it is finally shifting to a healthy balance of both women and men. I strongly believe that the diversity – not only sexes, but skills, knowledge and approach – enriches the creativity of architectural projects. Ethel achieved an incredible result by opening doors to female architects to an architectural world, and I am grateful that here at Scott Brownrigg we have an opportunity to collaborate with various teams within the profession in an environment of equality with our fellow male colleagues."

Here Anna looks at life working at Scott Brownrigg.

#EthelDay is part of International Week (3 to 7 July 2017), a week-long programme of events and exhibitions. As part of the week, RIBA President Jane Duncan will host a lunch celebrating international women in architecture and invite colleagues around the world to participate including Scott Brownrigg Practice Director Helen Taylor.