The Drew Design Prize recognises “an architectural designer who, through their work and commitment to design excellence, has raised the profile of women in architecture”. The 2018 Drew Design Prize was awarded to Amanda Levete, who is the founder of London-based practice AL_A.
Architects Journal recently conducted a Q&A interview with Amanda to discuss what inspires her, her approach to design and about being a woman in architecture. Amanda says that before studying architecture, she went to art school, where she learned about architecture through her art history course.
“Art school was a very free-spirited time but it taught me that it was only through observation and intellectual enquiry that you can find expression. During my year there, I started reading about art history and through that I discovered architecture. I was struck by the profound role it played in the making of civilisations. It opened up a new world to me, embodying everything I value most: creativity, a sense of civic purpose, politics, economics and much more,” says Amanda.
The use of colours as well as the unique pairing of different materials is often a key element in Amanda’s designs. She says that research underpins everything her practice does.
“We love to explore the history, context, circumstance, sustainability and conceptual potential of each project and to research technical possibilities, materials, structures and techniques. In every project, however modest in scale, AL_A tries to advance the debate, be it analytical response, social purpose, manufacturing technique or material innovation,” says Amanda.
Amanda describes her experience of being a woman in architecture as an extremely positive one.
“I’ve been in practice now for over 30 years and have seen huge changes for the better during that time. Personally, I’ve never encountered any real barriers to practice, and the women starting their careers at AL_A will never be prevented from fulfilling their potential. The message I want to project is that there’s no limit to achievement in our discipline – for anyone. Architecture is a tough profession and never easy but if you love it, the rewards are immense,” concludes Amanda.
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to www.architectsjournal.co.uk for some of the information contained in this article.
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