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Clare Wright

Women in practice profile: partner, Wright & Wright

FIRST PROJECT Creating complex level changes requiring major excavation of our garden, as a child working with my father

SECTORS YOU WORK IN Special projects of any sort

DESIGN ETHOS To respond contextually to the client’s aspirations while ourselves aspiring to create something that touches the human spirit, whatever the budget or brief

BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION Because women in architecture have been the exception in a very male field, inevitably they are seen by some as archetypal stereotypes. This can mean being cast in a role: as helpless or overbearing, for example

WHAT WOULD MAKE WOMEN STAY? Most practices are small businesses (under 300 people) and invest little time or thought in management and personnel strategies. They have conventional attitudes and could be much more creative. When I worked from 8am to 3pm in a housing association, I learned to be very efficient and my employer had a great deal. So show good examples, such as John Lewis and the Civil Service

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK Make the most of the situation in which you find yourself. When I couldn’t get a job in an architects’ office after a career break, I worked at Circle 33 housing trust. It was the best architectural career move I could have made

CURRENT CHALLENGE The financial crisis

ON SEXISM People now know it isn’t acceptable. When I was young, minor(ish) sexual assault was par for the course

INSPIRATION Almost all the post-1960s practices doing interesting work had women founders or principals: Fosters, Rogers, Hopkins, Shalev and Evans. Perhaps women who chose to go into this field against the grain were especially talented or committed

BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED When you get knocked back, keep getting up again

Place of study Mackintosh School of Architecture
Current projects Architectural Association masterplan implementation; school for Balfour Beatty; research for the Glass-House; Library and Archives for the Church Commissioners of England; Institute of Cancer Research; work at St John’s College Oxford and Magdalen College Oxford; special needs school for Morgan Sindall; work at the National Gallery; housing for the elderly for Aspen Retirement
Clients Aids & Housing Trust, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, the Courtauld Institute of Art, DETR, Gwalia, Hull Truck Theatre, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon, London Guildhall University, Metropolitan Housing Trust, One Housing, The Royal College of Art, the RIBA, the Society of Antiquaries of London, Somerset House, the V&A, the Women’s Library
Featured project Hull Truck Theatre
Completed late 2010
Budget £18 million
£/sqm £2,640
www.wrightandwright.co.uk

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