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Rosa Aragon of PTE: ‘We approach things in a different way from men’

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In the run-up to this year’s Women in Architecture Awards later today (2 March), we asked architects to tell us about their career, inspiration and how to make the profession more welcoming to women

Where was your first job and where are you now?
My first job was in 2007 in Barcelona, I was working with Nunez I Navarro, one of the biggest construction companies in the city, doing details.

What inspired you to go into architecture?
The will to design and build beautiful buildings that are sustainable and dialogue with nature, but also the client experience; they need to be comfortable.

Is there anything you would have done differently in your career so far?

What impact do you feel your gender has had on your career?
The negatives have become encouraging since the beginning. The first time I said I wanted to be an architect back at school, a guy laughed at me and said that I was a ‘stupid girl’. This encouraged me to do it even more.

What could be done to make the architecture profession more welcoming to women?
It is not only architecture, but also many other careers. We approach things in a different way from men. In general, I find women more conscious about the place we live in, family, community; and we can bring those aspects on to the design. For us, the benefit of all the users is important. Companies like PTE, with equal numbers of men and women, make a very positive contribution to it.

What advice would you give to any young woman who is about to start a career in architecture?
You can change the world we live in.

Who is your role model or mentor?
There are not many strong female figures apart from women like Jane Jacobs, or Zaha. I think there is a huge need for new female references, I admire people like Cany Ash [of Ash Sakula Architects], always thinking in communities when designing architecture.

What is the most exciting scheme you have worked on?
I have had the opportunity to work on many exciting projects, like Comus residence and Shamley Green Barn [both while at Nick Willson Architects].

Final side view model of nick willson willinghurst estate

Final side view model of nick willson willinghurst estate

Shamley Green Barn on the Willinghurst Estate - a project Rosa worked on while at Nick Willson Architects

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