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6/16/21, 6:30pm - 8pm

*This meeting will take place as a conference call. Please contact the AIANY Program and Events Coordinator here for details on how to join.*

You can access the meeting using the link below:

After our regularly scheduled committee meeting and announcements, in celebration of Pride Month, WIA will facilitate a discussion around the use of the non-gendered linguistic identifier “Womxn.” The term can be used to signal the inclusion of those who have traditionally been excluded from the feminist discourse.

Sara Ngan, AIA, LEED AP will facilitate a discussion with LGBTQIA+ designers. The panelists, Vanessa Hill, A.L. Hu, and Sami Sikanas will share their experiences of being out in the industry, the effects of gendered terminology, and discuss how our community can become more inclusive. An interactive dialogue will follow.

Learn how gender identifiers impact everyone, and who has ownership of the term womxn.

If you have questions or are considering attending a meeting for the first time, contact each committee’s co-chairs for more information at

Vanessa Hill, RA
|  she, her, hers
Senior Principal, Robert John Hills

A.L. Hu, AIA, NOMA, EcoDistricts AP | they, them, theirs
Design Initiatives Manager, Ascendant

Sara Ngan, AIA, LEED AP
Senior Associate | FXCollaborative

Sami Sikanas | she, her, hers
Intermediate Landscape Architectural Designer, Marvel Architects

Speaker Bios:

Vanessa Hill |RA  is a working artist and a Senior Principal at her architectural firm of Robert John Hills (RJH) Architects in Manhattan. She has worked with several New York Architectural firms, including Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Mancini Duffy, SHCA, FX Collaborative (then FXFOWLE Architects), and a principal at the firms Einhorn Yaffe Prescott and WQB Architects. Formerly, Vanessa served as a board member and advocated for the transgender community working with NYTAG (the New York Transgender Advocacy Group).

Vanessa has advocated for transgender rights on a personal level for several decades. Until the fall of 2019, she worked with NYTAG to serve the GLBTQI and the TGNC (transgender gender non-conforming) community. She helped publicize and promote the benefits and rights now protected and expanded by the passage of the GENDA legislation in New York State in January 2019. With NYTAG, she also met with legislators and state government officials to advocate for pending and proposed new legislation to benefit and protect the TGNC community.

A.L. Hu, AIA, NOMA, EcoDistricts AP, is a queer, nonbinary transgender Taiwanese-American architect, organizer, and facilitator who lives and works in New York City. They are a 2019-2021 Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow, and is currently Design Initiatives Manager at Ascendant Neighborhood Development in East Harlem. A.L. writes the not-so-regular Queer Agenda newsletter, and provides brainpower and energy for Queeries, an ongoing survey and community-building project for and by LGBTQIA+ architects and designers. They are an alumnus of the 2017 AIANY Civic Leadership Program, a recipient of the 2018 AIANY Emerging New York Architects ARE Scholarship, and spoke at A’19 on a panel titled “The Silent Minority: LGBTQ+ Voices in Architecture.” Their practice synthesizes organizing for racial, class, and gender justice with design; rethinks the architect’s role in facilitating accessible spaces; and manifests in design, visual media, and collaborative cultural work. They received a Master of Architecture from Columbia University GSAPP.

Sara Ngan, AIA, LEED AP is a Senior Associate at FXCollaborative and co-chair of FXWomen, the firm’s women’s group, serves on the Advisory Board of AIANY’s Women in Architecture Committee and participates in multiple industry groups.

She is also a project architect with experience on a wide range of projects with a focus on New York City. She starts each opportunity by considering the totality of people’s experience—from the street, entering a building, and within each room. Adept at a full range of projects—from large multi-family residential buildings and landmark building conversions to interior office design—she uses the knowledge gained from one project to enhance the development of another, enabling her to respond dynamically to each client’s professional needs. With over 15 years of experience, Sara currently serves as Project Architect/Manager for Apex Place and as Project Architect for the fit-out of FXCollaborative’s new offices at 1 Willoughby Square in Brooklyn. Her past projects include The Greenwich Lane and Webster Apartments. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and is a registered architect in New York

Sami Sikanas is coming from a background in environmental science and urban studies, Sami sees landscape architecture as a nexus of natural and social systems, with the ability to support community development through healthy, equitable, and beautiful landscapes, while honoring history, context, and ecology. After obtaining her MLA degree from the University of Michigan, she moved to NYC to begin her landscape career—first at Future Green Studio, then at W Architecture and Landscape, before eventually coming to Marvel. She has contributed to various urban landscape projects, including NYC parks, plazas, and waterfronts, as well as a neighborhood master plan in Detroit. She is currently working on a redesign of the Flushing Bay Promenade in Queens and has been awarded a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts for her research on Queer Landscapes.

Organized by
AIANY Women in Architecture Committee
6/16/21, 6:30pm - 8pm
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