1.Congratulations on being a finalist in the Women in Sustainability category! Do you think it is still important to have a special category for women in this field?
It’s an interesting question, although the truth is, I hope for a world where sustainability is the norm – not the exception. In this world, there are no sustainability awards because it’s so common place, or those awards are for innovation in the field, not gender specific. Although, a women’s award is currently important given that historically the architectural industry (like many industries) is typically male dominated; however, going forward I hope for a world where awards are about sustainability vision, leadership and innovation.
2. What would winning the award mean for your career?
It would be very humbling and reassuring; a great accolade for a person with my modest career, to be generously recognised by my peers and leaders in the industry, both professional and academic.
3. What project that you have been involved with are you most proud of?
So many to mention! I suppose the most recent of projects that should be a precedent of what sustainable design should be is Caspak Packaging. I really enjoyed working with a client who actively demonstrated and supported sustainable design and were inherently sustainable themselves. Sharing the same vision and working together to ensure the interiors were as sustainable as the exterior, and the aesthetic flowed seamlessly throughout the space was a rewarding challenge. Caspak Packaging now has a space that is truly sustainable from the inside out.
4. Where and how did your sustainability journey start?
I was inspired by some brilliant mentors! At the start of my career I was very lucky that one of the first firms I worked at was attached to a sustainability firm, and I managed to mingle with some brilliant minds during my time there. I was starstruck by how they were changing the world – not only aesthetically but also physically; when everyone else was raving about ergonomics, these minds were talking about the health of the earth, environment and people.
5. What is the one change you would like to see in the way we design our buildings to make them more sustainable?
I wish for a world where there is a mindset shift towards sustainability, where sustainability is not a choice but it is inherent to the industry. Similar to how we have many building compliances, or how we have ridded the industry of asbestos; using sustainable materials and aiming for sustainable methods should be the norm. Why have a building that is compliant in many ways for the inhabitants, but is also damaging the environment that’s around it?
Our interiors and exteriors are like a body of cells that form as one whole body (world), every piece matters.