Meet Our POWERFUL Women Speakers

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Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, AIA
Associate Dean, Woodbury School of Architecture & Principal, WROAD

  • When did you first realize you wanted to become an architect?
    I was nine when I realized that I wanted to be an architect. Of course I had no idea what that really meant. I just loved the idea of creating big, beautiful buildings … such as the Bonaventure Hotel. I was nine.
  • Who has inspired you and/or influenced your career the most? And how?
    Denise Scott-Brown, Laurie Hawkinson, and Nasrine Seraji, all of whom I worked with in New York, strive for equality in very different but equally powerful ways and taught me the rewarding possibilities of interweaving practice, research and teaching in a life dedicated to architecture.
    I am truly fortunate to be inspired and supported by my tremendously talented colleagues at Woodbury School of Architecture and by the women of the top secret Denise Scotch Brown Club.
  • What are your recommendations for increasing diversity in the workplace and within the design process particularly?
    I believe that our profession is over-legislated. Let’s start by simplifying the licensure process. How about introducing licensure-upon-graduation-type programs in our Universities, for example, which would encourage all students, not just ones within certain socio-economic and demographic strata, to get licensed? After all, there is greater diversity in the academy than in practice.
    We need to find ways to recognize and validate the various ways of practicing architecture. Architecture at its best is encompassing, inclusive and difficult to define. Why not provide multiple licensing options that reflect this plurality?
    We should also stop discussing diversity only with women and other underrepresented groups in our profession. How about challenging white men to refuse to participate on projects / panels / publications that only include other white men? THAT would rock the discipline!
  • As a woman, what are your thoughts on the Los Angeles region as a place to work?
    Los Angeles is a vibrant, messy, ungainly city full of delightful surprises. This place is loose enough to welcome trail-blazing women architects and designers who ignore conventional boundaries and find successful ways of following non-traditional architectural paths. There is no other place I would rather work.
Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter, AIA
Associate Dean, Woodbury School of Architecture & Principal, WROAD

Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter is an architect, educator, and design consultant specializing in the building envelope and the experimental architectural use of glass. She is Associate Dean of the School of Architecture at Woodbury University and has taught at Yale, Cornell, the Bartlett, and SCI-Arc. She is also Director of WUHO, the Woodbury University Hollywood Outpost (WUHO), a venue for experimental installations, public lectures and events, and fieldwork workshops. She currently serves on the LA AIA Board of Directors.

She and her partner established their joint practice, WROAD in London and are currently working in Los Angeles on a number of projects. She has collaborated on multiple award-winning projects including as façade consultant on the Portland Aerial Tramway with AGPS, the Centre Pompidou Exhibition with Morphosis, and as project architect for the Corning Museum of Glass with Smith-Miller + Hawkinson.

Last updated: 23-Feb-2015 03:11 PM
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