Architectural Record has announced the 2019 winners of its Women in Architecture Awards. Now in its sixth year, the awards program recognizes and promotes women’s leadership across five categories: Design Leader, New Generation Leader, Innovator, Activist and Educator. 

This year’s distinguished recipients are:

Toshiko Mori, Design Leader.  As founding principal of Toshiko Mori Architect PLLC in New York and the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Toshiko Mori, FAIA, has been a prominent leader in the field for decades. Her rich exploration of ideas, materials and details has been evident in architecture at every scale, from residential work to such cultural and institutional projects as the Darwin D. Martin House Visitors Center in Buffalo, New York; THREAD, an artists’ residency and art center in Senegal; and the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The first woman to be tenured at the Harvard GSD, Mori was chair of architecture from 2002-2008. She has received numerous awards, including the Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the AIA New York Chapter Medal of Honor. A graduate of the Cooper Union Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, she holds an honorary Master’s degree from the GSD.  

Sharon Johnston, New Generation Leader. Since cofounding the Los Angeles firm Johnston Marklee with Mark Lee in 1998, Sharon Johnston, FAIA, has consistently brought an original,  expressive sensibility to such projects as the Menil Drawing Center in Houston and the just-opening UCLA Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios in Culver City, California. Johnston currently teaches at the Harvard GSD, where she earned her Master’s in Architecture, and has also taught at Princeton, UCLA, Rice and the University of Toronto. Together with Mark Lee, she was Artistic Director of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Claire Weisz, Innovator. As founder and principal-in-charge of the New York-based WXY, Claire Weisz, FAIA, is a champion for revitalizing communities and public space through design. Weisz’s innovative approach to recent New York City projects includes Battery Park’s SeaGlass Carousel; the Rockaway Boardwalks redesign following Hurricane Sandy; and the Spring Street Salt Shed, designed with Dattner. Under her leadership, WXY has received the League Prize from the Architectural League of New York in addition to numerous awards from AIA National, AIANY, and the American Planning Association. Weisz is a member of the Founder’s Circle of the Design Trust for Public Space, where she served as co-director, and is a Visiting Critic of Urban Design at Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning. She received a Master’s in Architecture from Yale University.

Dana Cuff, Activist. Dana Cuff, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA and founder and director of the urban think tank cityLAB, is an expert in affordable housing and the politics of space. Based on cityLAB’s research into Accessory Dwelling Units, Cuff co-authored the legislation passed by California’s State Assembly to allow second units on lots with single-family homes, to address severe housing shortages. Cuff, who has a BA in psychology and design and a Ph.D. in architecture from Berkeley, lectures widely and has written several books, including The Provisional City and the upcoming Urban Humanities. (Listen to and watch an interview by The Midnight Charette with Dana Cuff below.)

Mabel O. Wilson, Educator. An award-winning scholar, curator, and practitioner, Mabel O. Wilson, who is a professor of architecture and of African American and African Diasporic Studies at Columbia University, has deeply explored the impact of racism and black experience on the built environment. At Columbia, she also serves as the Associate Director of the Institute for Research in African American Studies and co-directs the Global Africa Lab. She has written two books—Begin with the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Negro Building: African Americans in the World of Fairs and Museums—and her work has been exhibited widely, including at the Venice Biennale and the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum. As the founder of firm Studio &, she is part of the team designing the Memorial to Enslaved African American Laborers at the University of Virginia, where she received her B.S. in Architecture. She also holds an M.Arch from Columbia and a Ph.D. in American Studies from New York University. Wilson is a founding member of Who Builds Your Architecture?, a collective that advocates for fair labor practices on building sites worldwide.   

The winners were chosen by an independent jury: its members were architects Jill Lerner of KPF, Jing Liu of SO-IL, and Tomas Rossant of Ennead; the San Francisco Chronicle’s architecture critic John King; and Rosalie Genevro, executive director of The Architectural League.

The awards will be celebrated at a forum and ceremony in New York City on October 30.

The Midnight Charette interviews Dana Cuff.