Future Focused

Celebrating women in architecture, their work, leadership, and the pathways created for the next generation

Female diverse faces of different ethnicity seamless pattern.

Women play a critically important role in architecture. This video campaign is about celebrating them and their contributions and impact to the profession and their communities. AIA’s weekly 60-second “Future Focused” video series shares female architects and designers’ favorite work, as well as their leadership, mentorship, and vision they are pursuing for an increasingly diverse and equitable profession.  The videos share the stories of women, men, and firm leaders who are elevating women and changing the profession to make it a vocation of choice for anyone interested in the design field.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Get motivated and inspired by the Future Focused video series. Share them from AIA's social media channels (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook).
  2. Use the AIA resources on this page to learn more about how you can make change in the culture of the profession and your communities.
  3. Get involved in AIA, your local component, or in your firm to lead, mentor, and create a welcoming profession for architects and designers of all backgrounds.  

Check out our videos celebrating the work, accomplishments, and leadership of women in the profession; let it inspire you to get involved.

AIA Future Focused - Paulina Garza, Assoc. AIA

Paulina Garza Gonzalez, Assoc. AIA, was born in Monterrey, Mexico. Had the opportunity to study abroad in the spring of 2020 in the Politecnico di Torino (POLITO) and graduated from Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM) with a bachelor's degree in the architecture program in the spring of 2022. She was vice president of the student chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students, Universidad de Monterrey (AIAS UDEM) from 2021 - 2022. After graduating, she was appointed to be the 2022 - 2023 Latin America Regional Director of the AIAS, where she had the opportunity to grow the number of chapters in the region and connect with students, professionals and faculty from all over Latin America. The spring of 2023 Paulina began freelancing with her own firm called PG Studio, opening up services of architecture, construction, interior design and decoration. She loves traveling, learning about cultures and advocating for women in architecture.

AIA Future Focused Ariane Laxo, Allied AIA member

Ariane Laxo, Assoc AIA, is the Director of Sustainability at HGA, advancing the firm’s work on decarbonization, resilience, and fostering healthy communities. She leads with an evidence-based, collaborative approach to sustainable design that results in positive, transformational impacts. Her expertise includes workshop facilitation, resiliency planning, climate change adaptative design, change management, and positive psychology. With a background in Interior Design, Ariane blends human-centered design with sustainability so that client outcomes rely on reliable evidence to improve both the occupant experience and building performance. She serves on AIA’s national Resilience & Adaptation Advisory Group, has collaborated with climate scientists to understand how climate projection models can be downscaled and used to inform architecture and engineering workflows, and was the lead author on Climate Forward? How architects and engineers are(n’t) using climate projections to inform design, which details findings from a research study HGA completed in 2022 with the University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership.

Tenille Bettenhausen, Assoc. AIA

Tenille Bettenhausen, Assoc, AIA, has had a passion for design and construction since she got her first set of Lincoln Logs at age two, which inspired her to subsequently earn a bachelor's degree in architecture from Arizona State University. She is a wife and a mother of two beautiful daughters who love the world of design already (while playing and creating on Roblox, of course) and has a veracious love for reading. She is currently the Client Success Manager for Microdesk where she helps architecture and engineering firm clients with their digital transformation journey.  She became inspired to start writing books because she saw a need for diverse books that explored the wonderful world of work and that cultivated the awareness of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) at a young age. Tenille’s dream is that there will one day be more than just 28% of women represented in STEM/STEAM related careers.AIA Future Focused - Elizabeth Hallas, AIA

Liz Hallas, AIA

Liz Hallas, AIA, principal at Anderson Hallas Architects, leads a team of talented designers and preservationists who impact legacy projects throughout the West. Highly respected for her technical expertise and inclusive approach, she is adept at bringing forth innovative visions within the constraints of historic buildings. Fueled by a love of the outdoors and an adventurous spirit, Liz has played a key role in building Anderson Hallas’ national recognition through their work with the National Park Service—including the award-winning Sperry Chalet, a mountaintop retreat in the heart of Glacier National Park. Under her leadership, the firm’s distinguished portfolio continues to grow, now surpassing more than three decades of rehabilitation projects, including many National Historic Landmarks, and hundreds of designated sites. Liz is a firm believer in giving back to the community. Currently, she is chair of the national AIA Historic Resources Committee, is a Colorado Historical Foundation trustee, and a member of the Grants Council with History Colorado. With a keen eye for design, she has served on several AIA chapter design juries, as well as a past jury member of the AIA National’s Honor Awards. In the spirit of giving back, with Liz at the helm, the firm has prioritized pro-bono projects for worthy nonprofit organizations. She prioritizes time spent with her family, while balancing running her firm of twenty-four team members.

AIA Future Focused -  Leslie Sydnor, AIA, NOMA

Leslie has over 25 years of experience in the design of education, aviation, industrial, commercial, and low-income residential projects. She is currently a director with the Cumming Group where she serves as design manager for Los Angeles City College. As 2023 President of the AIA Los Angeles she is working to provide mentorship programs to emerging professionals. She is the inaugural co-chair of the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion committee. Leslie is a lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona and she sits on the Woodbury University Construction Management Program Advisory Board. Leslie has a B.A. in Architecture from Yale and an M.Arch from UCLA. She is the 243rd living Black woman licensed architect.

AIA Future Focused - Julia Oderda, AIA

Julia Oderda, AIA, has been working in the architectural profession since 2000 and joined VCBO in 2005.   Julia received a BS in Architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Architecture from the University of Utah. Primarily specialized in educational facility design, Julia has worked on various projects. Julia maintains positive relationships with owners, consultants, and contractors to solve difficult #design challenges and appreciates how #architecture affords opportunities for creative design that functions and inspires.

AIA Future Focused -Nadine Saint-Louis, AIA

Nadine Saint-Louis, AIA, NOMA is a licensed architect registered in the states of New York and Florida. She has had over fourteen years of experience designing residential homes throughout Long Island for the award-winning office of Paul Russo Architect, PC and is now exploring commercial architecture under the leadership and guidance of the award-winning office of MCHarry Associates. In addition to working in a firm, Nadine is an Adjunct professor at Florida International University teaching Design1 and Design2 and Comprehensive Design architectural courses. In addition, she is the Immediate Past President of the National Organization of Minority Architects of South Florida and Co-Chairs of the AIA Miami Diversity and Inclusion Committee.Nadine’s passion for architecture, desire to make a difference and determination to succeed are the driving force behind every design decision she makes. No matter what it takes she will get it done.

AIA Future Focused - Megan Bowles, AIA

With 15 years of experience, Megan Bowles, AIA, is an organizational leader with notable success in developing a high-performing team of #design professionals. When looking to the future, Megan is excited to cultivate strong workplace environments in which people can be well and do good. Authentic in her approach and relationships and dedicated to developing others, Megan is best known for “collecting” good people. Indeed, the team is the joy and pride of her work. As an organization designer, she partners with organizations to create #sustainable practices to support human well-being and advance team success. To implement purpose-driven organization design strategies, Megan facilitates continual improvement through participatory engagement.

AIA Future Focused - Yu-Ngok Lo, FAIA

Yu-Ngok Lo, FAIA, CDT, LEED AP, originally from Macau, is the founding principal of YNL Architects, Inc. in Culver City, California. Yu-Ngok’s work received numerous local, state, national, and international design awards. His projects have been published in various media, such as @ArchDaily, Hinge Magazine, CONDE, CommArch Magazine, and Hospitality-Interiors Magazine. Yu-Ngok served on AIA Hong Kong Design Award Juries, NAHB Best In America Living Award Juries, American Residential Design Award Juries, and the AIA Long Island Design Award Juries.

Yu-Ngok also served in leadership positions at different organizations and committees, including the AIA Strategic Council, AIA National Construction Contract Administration Knowledge Community Advisory Group, AIA YAF Advisory Committee, AIA California Communication Advisory Committee, the AIA California Committee On The Environment, the @NCARB Certification Alternatives Review Team, and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) Visiting Team. He is a co-founder of the Immigrant Architects Coalition, which is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to helping immigrant #design professionals prosper in the U.S. Additionally, Yu-Ngok is currently serving as the Vice-chair of the Building and Life Safety Commission at the City of Santa Monica, California.

AIA Future Focused - Luciana Triplett, AIA

Luciana Triplett, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, is a creative designer, entrepreneur, licensed architect in Massachusetts and Brazil, 3D consultant, as well as a soccer mom of two young kids. In 2010, she opened Triplett Studio, a 3D Visualization & Design firm, and over the years she collaborated on a variety of projects with architecture firms, offering renderings, and design and construction document services. After becoming licensed in 2021, Luciana launched Triplett Studio LLC and extended those services to include architecture and interior design for residential, corporate, and retail spaces. She is passionate about traveling, creating high quality renderings, lighting, biophilic design and designing modern homes with a warm minimalism that focuses on wellbeing and embraces a live-work lifestyle.

She is proud to be part of a strong supportive group of women launching their own firms, and always brings her enthusiasm, commitment, and positive attitude to the group. She believes in an inclusive world, working in collaboration, and the power of diversity to achieve greater results.

AIA Future Focused - Kathy Hancox, AIA

As a founding Principal of HK ASSOCIATES INC, Kathy Hancox is invested in creating a vision for an architectural practice that can enrich life: “The most rewarding part is when we get to experience the ways that our designs have made positive impacts on our clients.” Regardless of project type, scale, or location, Kathy’s creative approach is client and site specific, structuring spaces and moments that are timeless and contextual. Her palette is material authenticity, proportion, light, shadow, reflection, and the interplay of view and movement; framing foregrounds and backgrounds, connecting inside and out. In 2022, Kathy was AIA Arizona President. Her focus was on strengthening the ways that we can make connections with each other and the communities we serve, as well as supporting the ways that we can take action. At the national level, for 2023-2025, Kathy is the AIA Arizona representative on the AIA Strategic Council. She is also on the AIA Public Awareness Committee.

Do you want to learn more so you can promote an inclusive and welcoming culture at your firm?

AIA has developed great resources that can help you get started or keep you on your journey!

Resources to advance equity in the profession

Guides for Equitable Practice

Easy-to-read guides that look at every component of your business to support building a more equitable profession.

Women's Resources

Learn more about our annual premiere event, Women's Leadership Summit. And get other resources to support gender equity.

An Investigation into Bias in the Architecture Profession

A report exploring bias based on gender and race/ethnicity in the practice of architecture.

Continuing Education via AIAU

Check out our EDI content and Women's Leadership Summit virtual series from 2020, 2021, and 2022.

AIA Foundation Scholarships

Learn more about our Diversity Advancement Scholarship, and more!

AIA Membership Demographics

Stay up-to-date with evolving demographics of AIA's membership body.

Career Pathways

Support the next generation of architects with our youth, K-12, and higher education resources.

Resources to advance equity in the built environment

Framework for Design Excellence

The Framework seeks to inform progress toward a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment.

Architect's Role in Creating Equitable Communities

A guide for architects to design and advocate for equitable processes and outcomes in projects.

AIA Materials Pledge

Learn how your firm can commit to better product selection that advances the environment, human health, and social equity.

Equitable Development Frameworks

An introduction and comparison for architects to identify the agency architects and designers have in driving valuable change.

More videos

Image credits

Female diverse faces of different ethnicity seamless pattern.