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Farshid Moussavi

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Women in practice profile: architect & professor, Farshid MoussaviArchitecture

WHY YOU BECAME AN ARCHITECT I was attracted to the fact that architecture is so multivalent, operating at the intersection of so many different issues: social, cultural, psychological, political

FIRST PROJECT The Yokohama International Port Terminal in Japan

DESIGN ETHOS Good practice makes good design

SECTORS YOU WORK IN We have worked across all sectors

BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION I haven’t experienced any

ADVICE TO ASPIRING FEMALE ARCHITECTS The world is how you see it. Don’t let anyone else’s image of it determine yours

WHY WOMEN LEAVE Mostly for social reasons. They may choose to have children and the cost of childcare is high. It may also be that architecture involves long hours of work and not all partners find that acceptable

WHAT WOULD MAKE THEM STAY? Not sure. As I said, the problem is social not architectural

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK Determination, hard work and the enjoyment of architecture

ON CHILDREN Each office works differently. In mine, several people have taken sabbaticals and have returned to work afterwards

CURRENT CHALLENGE Professionally, the same challenges that men face

ON SEXISM I personally don’t encounter it

BEST DEFENCE AGAINST SEXISM Sexism is a sign of insecurity. The best thing is to ignore it

BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED Re-learn whatever you think you already know

INSPIRATION Scheherazade, the legendary Persian storyteller of One Thousand and One Nights – probably the first Persian feminist – who teaches us that a woman can effectively rebel by developing her brain

Place of study University of Dundee, the Bartlett, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Current projects Two museums, a residential complex, a private house, a mixed-use development
Clients Public clients such as the Port and Harbour Bureau of the City of Yokohama, Japan, the Parisian Transport Authority in France, the Olympic Delivery Authority and the BBC; private clients include the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Hammersons, British Land and Selfridges
Featured project John Lewis department store and cineplex
Client Hammerson
Completed September 2008
Budget £44 million
£/sqm £34,000

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