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Look outside. Do you see any buildings? Probably one or two. Do you ever wonder who designed them. Or more specifically, do you ever wonder if it was a man or a woman? Given that for the past two decades, over 40% of architecture graduates are women, you’d think that a large portion would have been designed by women. But a study in 2010 found that while 44% of architecture students were women, only 20.4% of registered architects are women. Why do women leave architecture, and what’s it like for those women who stick around?

Architecture is a really unique profession in that it sits at the intersection of many different worlds. It’s a creative profession. It’s part of the building industry. It requires rigorous training and is highly competitive, like law and medicine. It involves a lot of investment and development so it lives in the world of finance as well. And as a result, all of the gender issues that exist in all of those separate worlds seem to rear their heads in architecture. Putting the gender spotlight on architecture tells us a lot of things about gender on a more general level.

Lauren Zmood - ArchitectWe chat to Lauren Zmood, an architect who has started her own archiecture practice, about navigating this industry dominated by male “starchitects” and “lonewolves” with lots of machismo!

She reflects on the role of ego, how female “collaborative” tendencies could change the industry, and what she’s learning as an entrepreneur in the architecture industry.