erga

Women Who Build

Ms. Randa Gebrayel

Women in contemporary architecture have shown a huge progress over the decades. They have been and still are more often involved in many ways as designers, planners, administrators and educators.
Some run practices of their own while others like me do it with their spouse who also happened to be an architect. My husband and I established Erga Group Architects and Consulting Engineering in 1980.

Many questions arise when discussing female architects: Is architecture solely a male occupation? Does gender play a role in our profession? What are the benefits, challenges, and expectations of women in architecture?

Women architects and engineers are uncommon, according to statistics. They account for only 20% of licensed architects in the United States, 19% in the United Kingdom, and 18% in Lebanon. Furthermore, the success of a project is always down to the efforts of a team of architects, designers, and engineers. As a result, no master project supervised by a man or a woman gets completed independently.

When I first started my career, women in the architectural field faced many difficulties especially when they are involved in site work  with contractors and subcontractors. But one can’t deny that the sensitivity, intuition, team spirit and communication skills  of women allows them to be catalysts within their teams and with the clients.

Physical, social, and cultural barriers and discriminations have all but vanished as a result of globalization. Women in the Middle East deserve the opportunity to participate in activities that assist reform and improve society.

Women’s efforts have achieved a balance between the interior and exterior of the structures they build, while also giving architecture a more human and aesthetic touch. They, regardless of gender, deserve to be recognized for their efforts.

I had the opportunity to be a part of Erga group during my entire career, from my personal perspective and experience as a woman architect, I never felt discriminated against during or after my schooling. Erga group consists of a big team of designers and engineers and women has 37% of the total number of staff members and have always been very effective and active, juniors and seniors, they feel the respect and appreciation by their male colleagues.

I’ll end my article with a quote by Frank Lloyd Wright:

“The mother art is architecture, without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.”

Randa Gebrayel, Lebanese Architect.

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