*This event is occurring as a live webinar. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the program; please continue to register.*
The AIANY Women in Architecture Committee continues its annual Women Design Leaders Series with four extraordinary international women architects who were educated in the US and have since achieved design accolades either in their native or adoptive countries. Please join us to learn about how they contribute to their communities, educate the next generation, advocate for equity, fight climate change, and improve the built environment. Above all, they will inspire us to look beyond our cities and encourage women design leaders to think about how to impact the world.
Astrid Piber, Partner, UN Studio | Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Betsy Williamson, Principal, Williamson Williamson | Toronto, Canada
Kotchakorn Voraakhom, Founder, Landprocess and Porous City Network | Bangkok, Thailand
Victoria Marwa Heilman, Principal, VK Green Architects | Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Hana Kassem, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, KPF
About the speakers
Astrid Piber, Partner and Senior Architect at UNStudio, graduated from the Technical University Vienna in 1997 and received her MS in AAD from Columbia University New York in 1999. Since joining UNStudio in 1998, Piber has worked closely with Ben van Berkel on a wide range of projects. Her first was the now completed Arnhem Central Station masterplan. In the intervening years, she has worked on numerous projects in Asia and Europe from the initial urban study and competition phase through to realization. She is currently in charge of numerous mixed-use and transport projects internationally. Piber became a share-holding Partner at UNStudio in 2007 and was jointly responsible for setting up the UNStudio Asia office.
Betsy Williamson, OAA, FRAIC, is Principal of Williamson Williamson Inc., a Toronto-based architecture and design studio that she founded with her partner, Shane Williamson, in 2007. Williamson’s work has been published widely and has received numerous awards over the years. Notable practice-based recognition includes the Professional Prix de Rome for Architecture from the Canada Council of the Arts, the Emerging Architectural Practice Award from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and the Young Architects Prize and the Emerging Voices Award from the Architecture League of New York. Williamson is a founder of and the current Advisory Committee Chair of Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT), an organization dedicated to the promotion of equality by providing mentorship, networking, and leadership opportunities for women and minorities in the profession.
Kotchakorn Vorrakhom, CEO and Founder of Landprocess and Porous City Network, is a landscape architect from Thailand who works on building productive green public spaces that tackle climate change in urban dense areas and climate-vulnerable communities. She has designed the first critical green infrastructure for Bangkok, Chulalongkorn Centenary Park; the largest urban farming green roof in Asia at Thammasat Urban Farm Rooftop; and the first park bridge across the river, Chao Phraya Sky Park. Vorrakhom was featured in the 2019 “TIME 100 Next” list as one of 15 leading women fighting against climate change and the “Green 30 for 2020” by Bloomberg. She is Chairwoman on the Landscape Architects Without Borders of the International Federation of Landscape Architects, Asia Pacific Region (IFLA APR). Vorrakhom received her Master’s in landscape architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and taught there as design critic in Spring 2020. She is also an Atlantic Fellow, TED Fellow, and an Echoing Green Climate Fellow.
Victoria Marwa Heilman is a co–founder and Chairperson of Tanzania Women Architects for Humanity (TAWAH) NGO. Heilman holds a Doctorate degree in Architecture from the University of Stuttgart in Germany, a Master degree in Architecture from the Catholic University of America (CUA), and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Dar es Salaam – UCLAS in Tanzania. Heilman works professionally as an architect at VK Green Architects Ltd., a company that she started in 2012. She has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity Tanzania for a number of projects in rural Tanzania as a coordinator and a construction supervisor. In 2018, Heilman left her teaching career at Ardhi University to devote more time to helping communities in need through her knowledge and expertise in architecture.
Hana Kassem, AIA, LEED AP, Principal at KPF, has applied a human-centric approach to design across various project typologies over her 25-year career as an architect. With a design focus on Sustainability, Resiliency and Wellness, she examines how we affect our environment and how in turn our built environment impacts us. She employs this approach on projects in countries ranging from the United States to China, and from Brazil to Abu Dhabi. Her international background affords her the ability to tailor solutions to various cultural contexts while maintaining universal commonalities. Kassem is adjunct professor at the Parsons School of Constructed Environments. She serves on the AIANY Board of Trustees and is Founding Chair for its annual Leaning Out | Women in Architecture panel. Kassen also serves on the Van Alen Institute Board of Trustees. She is the co-editor of Architect d.b.a. | On Re-defining the Roles of the Architect Today, a book published by the AIANY.