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Stephanie Reich, AIA
Urban Designer, City of West Hollywood

  • When did you first realize you wanted to become an architect?
    I grew up in an early 60’s suburban development. It was a beautiful location, on the water, lots of green. But the development has a maximum of 3 different buildings- I found the homogeneity oppressive. I felt I could make a difference in quality of life by being a part of creating vibrant places for people to live.
  • Who has inspired you and/or influenced your career the most? And how?
    That’s tough. Thom Mayne comes to mind first- he was my teacher and mentor at SCI-Arc, and I worked with him closely at Morphosis managing projects for a couple of years after graduating. His focus and natural originality and creativity gave me more confidence in my abilities. Problem solving and good design could become a beautiful flow. Val Warke, my thesis advisor at Cornell guided me in similar ways. George Wagner, when teaching at Cornell, gave me the most memorable advice. Andrea Simitch, when teaching at Cornell, demonstrated that an intelligent articulate woman could gain respect in a position of responsibility. Ditto for Kate Diamond and Anne Zimmerman. I have been fortunate in my career to connect with amazing people, and to learn from them.
  • What are your recommendations for increasing diversity in the workplace and within the design process particularly?
    Women in positions of responsibility should actively focus on creating opportunities to mentor, support and to sponsor other talented women, while holding them to the highest standards. We must all keep in mind how difficult and intimidating the structure of the architecture profession can be, especially for other women, and make an effort every day to be generous and supportive to others. There are now more women in high levels in the profession. We should each be a visible example of competence to help elevate the opinion of women in architecture, to our colleagues in architecture and construction and to the general public.
  • As a woman, what are your thoughts on the Los Angeles region as a place to work?
    Los Angeles appears to hold more opportunities in general young people, and for new smaller firms. That’s the main reason I came from the East Coast. As a consequence there may be more opportunities for women as well. However, the large corporations (as clients and as architecture firms) still often retain a bias against women, and remain difficult to navigate for female architects. City and county governmental organizations have so far demonstrated a greater commitment to diversity and create more opportunities for women to succeed than the private sector.

Stephanie Reich, AIA

Urban Designer, City of West Hollywood

Stephanie Reich, AIA, LEED AP is the Urban Designer for the City of West Hollywood. Prior to joining the City of West Hollywood, Stephanie has held similar positions for the cities of Glendale, Long Beach and Santa Monica since 2003. As Urban Designer, Stephanie is continually excited by the enormous possibilities for the development of important architecture and urban design in West Hollywood and the Greater Los Angeles area.

Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University in 1986. She relocated to Los Angeles from New York City in 1991 to pursue a Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Stephanie chose Los Angeles as the place to practice architecture and urban design in order to be a part of building a great “new” city.

Stephanie has practiced architecture and urban design with a variety of firms in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia. Upon completing the Masters Degree in Architecture at SCI-Arc she went on to work with Thom Mayne and Morphosis as a project designer. In addition, she has worked with Libeskind Studio and Coop Himmelblau, where she helped develop winning competition designs. Stephanie’s interest in urban design and large-scale architecture led her to work on projects such as conceptual design for MAGLEV Master Plan with Kate Diamond, FAIA, design and construction of the Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati with NBBJ, among other notable projects.

As part of her commitment to the broader design community Stephanie has been active in the local AIA chapter (AIA/LA), serving on the Board of Directors. Between 2001 and 2010 she served as Chair of the AIA/LA Urban Design Committee, providing a forum for multi-disciplinary dialogue on key urban design issues. Stephanie is also an active member and past president of Association for Women in Architecture + Design (AWA+D) for which she leads a monthly Salon discussion group, and serves as a mentor for young professionals.

Last updated: 23-Feb-2015 03:14 PM
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