Denver Design Week Spotlight:

Women Supporting Women

Women In Design Presents: Radical Craft 

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Women In Design Presents: Radical Craft

On Oct. 24, the penultimate day of Denver Design Week, Women in Design will be presenting Debora Mesa Molina of Ensamble Studio, one of the most acclaimed woman architects in the world. Molina is known for taking under-utilized, sometimes discarded materials and turning them into stunning architecture (her own home in Boston was once a parking garage). She is the perfect speaker to be hosted by Women in Design, which seeks to provide a local community for professional women in the building and design community. Geneva Kowalski, executive chairwoman of the organization, talks about why she is so excited for this presentation:

Q: Débora Mesa Molina is such a star. Tell me why you are bringing her in as a speaker.

A: She is amazing and inspiring—which we realized from watching her TED Talk. Her firm just won a big Royal Institute of British Architects Award. Her work is really interesting, using everyday raw materials that you wouldn’t necessarily think of a beautiful and putting them into a composition that is structurally self-sustaining and really highlights that material.

Q: What do you hope the audience will get from this talk?

A: There’s not a lot of programming geared specifically toward women to inspire women to not only stay in the profession but also become leaders in the profession. It’s this kind of programming and taking the time to meet other people that helps you start a business. It’s also our goal to inspire women by listening to a woman who is really doing it, leading teams and taking her practice somewhere unique. The start of the evening is going to be time for networking, with a nice spread of food and wine, and Debora Mesa Molina will be there during that time, available for anyone who wants to talk to her. After her presentation there will be a formal Q&A session, and then time to linger and talk to her afterward in an intimate way.

Q: You are the executive chairwoman of Women In Design. Can you talk a bit about the organization?

A: Women In Design was started in 2005 by a group of local women. The point of the organization is to provide communit, networking, and professional development for women in all different aspects of the built environment. There were a lot of organizations specifically for interior designers, or architects, or general contractors, but not one that would bring everyone together and provide an opportunity for women to talk to other women in their same and complementary professions. We have interior designers, architects, civil, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural engineers, general contractors, marketers. It’s a very holistic, inclusive group. In 2009, we brought in our first international speaker and became a 501(c)(3) organization. The first Tuesday of every month, we have our First Tuesday Recess, usually at a new bar or restaurant, where our members can gather. This is the first year that we have done our Keystone event as part of Denver Design Week.