BEST YOUNG WOMAN ARCHITECT
Miranda McCabe Architect, Stride Treglown
That first indication that my company had nominated me for this award remains one of the most gratifying moments of my short career so far. The resulting high quickly faltered on the sudden realisation that I might need to justify quite why I could be Best Young Woman Architect amongst a field of phenomenal women, that is happily only growing by the day, alongside our equally talented male colleagues. The process has prompted a great deal of soul searching to begin to answer that question, and this in itself has proved to be hugely beneficial. It’s enabled me to step back and realise the diversity of approach that I am able to have in my career. As architects, we are able to wear a great many number of hats and, particularly in this changing market, we must consistently reassess these hats and see which might need placing back on the stand or, adding to the line-up. And it became very apparent to me, in the midst of completing my nominee duties, that discovering I was dyslexic relatively late in my academic career was an enormous turning point for me, for the better, in creating my wardrobe of hats. There are an equivalent amount of female and male dyslexics in the world, and a huge number of us are diagnosed later in life. Within this group of people, female dyslexics are often diagnosed later than their male counterparts. Learning methods become essential crutches to many dyslexics – myself included. Unfortunately, late diagnosis means many students are unable to flourish in their chosen area, without these stabilisers.
My work leading Stride Treglown’s involvement with the Open City initiatives, Architecture in Schools and Open House Families speaks of my desire to use this win to further assist prospective students of architecture in finding their own bespoke learning methods. Alongside this, there is an ownership that schools of architecture need to take upon themselves in allowing for adaptability in learning. This in turn can foster the success of those that may be undiagnosed with dyslexia, or similar, to create their own learning mechanisms. In line with these necessary developments, the growing RIBA apprenticeship scheme needs to be truly celebrated for allowing junior architects to follow a different path towards accreditation, which may be more suited to them. I am hopeful that, through having the privilege to win this award, I will be able to assist in nurturing these on-going projects further. It is with this passion for learning and celebrating the potential of others that I hope to continue working towards my other passion: building a Creative Re Use studio in Stride Treglown. This studio will be nurtured by these values, emphasising on growing and building from within. These fundamentals can be wrapped up into the bundle of embracing the opportunities that are available to us. And this is no more prevalent than in our existing stock of built heritage. We are facing a potential crossroads in the route to sustainability in the construction world and, for me, it seems that the leading path would be to conserve, preserve and enhance that which we already have. Quickly all these ideas and passions become cyclical, and the WICE Awards have allowed me to see this in a clearer fashion. We must enhance an awareness of each of these areas, the talent that is growing and conserve the talent or buildings that we already have.
THE EUROPEAN WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING AWARDS >> MAY 2019
2019 WICE awards and summit summary.