FAME collective celebrates the successes of the women in the built environment and exposes the barriers they face through narratives of their lived experiences. Sharing their ‘pathways to success’ and the challenges they have overcome in their career from both the public and private sector. Through this lens, we will review the systemic inequality in the built environment and planning system.
In the aftermath of Covid-19, how can policies, procurement and planning enable the voices of underrepresented communities, to address inequality and to consider the social values of places, buildings and neighbourhoods? How can we carve a role to support communities and local authorities to work with private clients, to achieve better social values, and to create an inclusive place and a city for all?
This event will provide an important opportunity to discuss the barriers in the built environment and the routes out to ensure the success of people, place and project.
Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, Founder of FAME, Director of Our Building Design, Senior Lecturer of Architecture at the University of Westminster and Trustee of Mannan Foundation Trust
Tumpa introduces FAME Collective and explains how it sets out to review systematic inequality in the built environment and planning system. She continues by discussing the event format and key themes that will be addressed throughout.
07:45 Keynote presentation - pathways to success in the built environment from a FAME perspective
Pooja Agrawal, Assistant Director of Service Strategy, Homes England and Co-Founder, Public Practice
Pooja states that the keynote presentation won't focus so much on barriers, but more what pushed her to be where she is today. She begins by discussing what 'success' means and how it is the hardest thing to define. Pooja thinks by being clear in what she believes in; quality, equality in the role of the public sector, it has definitely driven her forward.
19:28 Speaker presentations
19:28 Dr Teri Okoro, Founder and Director, TOCA architects
Dr. Teri Okoro believes the first success for any architect is just going through the course and qualifying. She recognises that life is full of challenges and how you overcome them and thinks about what differences we can make for those who are coming behind us. Teri discusses the idea of 'bottlenecks' and says that the issues within in the industry are what people also find in education and employment in other areas.
If you want to progress your career you need to be in a situation where you have the opportunities to do so. You must always have a long-term plan and strategic view.
34:24 Siu-Pei Choi, Senior Design Manager, Wates Construction (Residential)
Siu-Pei Choi discusses her personal experience around the difficulties of finding work following university. She talks about how having a name that was 'difficult to pronounce on paper' and 'didn't look English' could be holding her back from opportunities, and acknowledges the importance of tutors for the the younger generations.
Once you find your passion and something you really believe in that's what will lead you to success, in that you actually can feel like you can make a difference in what we do as architects and within the built environment.
Architecture course opened me up to mass planning and societal change and how you can bring all these things together which you really fight for and why inequality exists.
Manisha recalls her first days as an architect, where she was one of two people of colour within a group of fifty architects. She talks through her career to date and states;
Getting on the board hasn't been the simplest thing in the world. It's meant I have had to work harder, be tougher, be on the top of my game and learn a lot more skills than my counterparts.
*Breakout sessions not featured in public recording
01:00:29 Closing remarks
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