Emerging Woman Architect of the Year shortlist: Lisa Basu
Lisa Basu is a project architect at Fereday Pollard
Lisa Basu was awarded a bursary from the Stephen Lawrence Trust in 2010 and has worked with the trust as a mentor and curator. She was a candidate in the 2012 ARB elections pushing a diversity agenda and seeking to encourage the younger generation to shape the future of the profession. Most recently Basu has been working on the Thames Tideway Tunnels Project as a design architect for a section of the Super Sewer.
Why did you become an architect?
I was interested in architecture from an early age and knew that it was a profession that ticked a lot of boxes for me personally. It was the one profession that touched on creative thinking, contributed to a sense of community and could leave a lasting mark on society.
What is your design ethos?
Design legacy is something that I believe in strongly. Architects have an obligation to meet the clients’ needs but we also have an obligation to the environment and society in which we live. That obligation is to design sustainably and to design with a lasting positive legacy in mind.
Which women architects inspire you?
Kazuyo Sejima, simply for the fact that she is a fantastic architect, who makes beautiful buildings successfully.
What is your advice to aspiring female architects?
Don’t be discouraged and remain confident in your abilities. Developing a strong network is important to provide support, contacts and multiple avenues to pursue options. Seek out a female mentor who can advise you. Wherever possible, try and get a range of experiences (not just professional) that make you stand out from the crowd, whether male or female. Keep focused on your ambitions and learn to take the rough with the smooth.
Why do you think women leave the profession?
There is constant pressure on career progression and promotions within companies that forces women into difficult decisions. Mix that with gender stereotyping and few role models and it can be an unwelcoming environment.
What would make them stay?
A more tailored training and nurturing environment.
Place of study Manchester BA (Hons); Edinburgh MArch
Current projects Thames Water Super Sewer
Clients Crossrail, TfL and Thames Water