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  • LiASF presents Book Club / Club de Libro: Latinas in Architecture – Stories of Raising the 1% One Latina at a Time

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    LiASF presents Book Club / Club de Libro: Latinas in Architecture – Stories of Raising the 1% One Latina at a Time

    Wednesday, February 23, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm PST

    Hear excerpts from six of the authors featured in the newly-published book Latinas in Architecture – Stories of Raising the 1% One Latina at a Time. The autoras will share their stories, followed by a moderated discussion and breakout sessions for more in depth topical conversations on their journeys, challenges and successes. Join us for what is sure to be an evening of inspiring stories of courage, grit, and determination.



    About the Book

    Latinas in Architecture is an anthology of compelling highs and lows, and sometimes shocking, life stories of multicultural Latina women in the field of architecture. The women in this book are passionate about architecture and the built environment. The stories are told by young professionals, experienced architects, mothers and/or business owners.

    Representing less than 1% in the architecture field, they proudly contribute to the built environment as architects, engineers, urban planners, construction managers and sustainability professionals. In this book you will find 19 stories with different beginnings, challenges, and compelling reasons that kept each woman going on their architectural journey.



    Alicia Ponce, AIA

    A registered architect in Illinois and Wisconsin, Alicia Ponce is the founder and principal of APMonarch, a Chicago based Female and Latina owned Architecture firm. Her expertise and passion to design healthy buildings and equitable communities have supported many clients in creating architecture that is ambitious, thoughtful and healthy. Under Alicia’s direction, the firm provides architectural services, community engagement and sustainability consulting for projects throughout the Midwest and Latin America.

    Alicia refers to APMonarch as the pollinator of the built environment designing healthy environments that look good, feel good and perform great. The firm promises to build zero carbon architecture. Demonstrating that promise is Alicia’s recent architecture commission to design Centro Amazing, a civic youth center located in Aguascalientes, Mexico which is to be constructed from rammed earth.

    Alicia serves on the Chicago Landmarks Commission, the United Way Metro Chicago Executive Board, and HACIA’s sustainability committee. She is the founder and chair of Arquitina, a national non-profit organization with a mission to raise the fewer than 1% of licensed Latina architects in the U.S.

    Karen García

    Originally from Mexico City, Karen is an architect and urban planner with a Masters in Projects for Urban Development from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and Architecture from Universidad La Salle.

    Through her studies she has gained experience in the analysis and design an urban projects which has reinforced her commitment to research and to seeking out new project opportunities that contribute to achieving a more sustainable future. Since 2012, she has participated in the design and development of architectural projects of various types and scales, including the Biodiversity National Pavilion, located in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the largest University in Latin America.

    As a woman, Latina, dreamer, creative, passionate and committed to her goals, she works every day with discipline, commitment, dedication and patience to continue advancing on her path of learning and evolution.

    Maria A. Pellot, AIA

    Maria de los Angeles Pellot Peraza brings over 20 years of architectural, urban planning, and project management experience to UrbanWorks where she serves as Principal and Design Director. As an Illinois licensed architect, planner certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners, and a LEED Accredited Professional she is dedicated to producing intentional, thoughtful, and high-quality projects on all scales.

    She is focused on the integration of environmentally friendly practices into every design project and is drawn to the collaborative nature of working on socially conscious community-based facilities for a variety of clients. She enjoys working directly with community stakeholders, clients and consultants and the challenge of balancing design, the environment and a project’s budget to help clients translate their vision into architecture. She has donated her time and skills to the Peace Corps and Habitat for Humanity, among others, and has served as mentor, advisor, presenter, and guest juror for students of all ages interested in design.

    Maria holds a BS in Architecture from Florida International University and a MArch. Degree from the University of South Florida.

    UrbanWorks is an internationally recognized Chicago architecture, interiors, and planning firm, committed to producing socially and environmentally responsible designs for civic, community-based, private, and commercial clients. Certified as a women, minority, and disadvantaged business enterprise, UrbanWorks was founded over twenty-seven years ago with the belief that every community deserves good, inspiring, uplifting design. This has been the common thread in every one of their projects over the years.

    Natalie Soledad Ramírez, AIA

    Natalie Soledad Ramírez is a licensed, Mexican-American architect. Born and raised in Sacramento, she attended Stanford University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, with a Field of Study: Architectural Design. She went on to obtain a Masters in Architecture from University of Texas at Austin. She has worked in architecture for over 11 years. She believes that the built environment can act as a catalyst for positive change and has devoted much of her career to projects that focus on public service with strong social impact ambitions. Over the years, she has worked on public libraries, projects for ELEMENTAL, led by Pritzker Prize laureate Alejandro Aravena, and for non-profits including the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

    Natalie hopes to continue to be fortunate enough to make positive contributions to the built environment alongside organizations who envision the projects, designers and users who help shape it, and to those whose hands ultimately construct it. She is truly grateful for her family’s support throughout her journey and is forever indebted to her phenomenal grandparents who immigrated to the United States to work in fields, in canneries, and to build railroads.

    Karina Ruiz, AIA

    Karina Ruiz is one of the founding Principals of BRIC Architecture in Portland, OR, the 2019 Chair of the AIA Committee on Architecture for Education and a founding Board Member of NOMA PDX. She is the epitome of the firm’s tagline of Building Relationships and Inspiring Communities. Karina has focused her 25-year career on the design of innovative learning environments. Karina is actively engaged in the national dialogue on the intersection between pedagogy, design innovation and equity. Additionally, as the educational facility planning lead for BRIC Architecture, Inc., Karina inspires their educational planning, community engagement, and design efforts to create a more equitable, just and humane world. As a Latina Architect, Karina believes strongly that we must provide mirrors and windows to often marginalized communities that have historically been underrepresented in this field and works actively to introduce this field to young girls like her. Her leadership is based in the ardent belief that design can be a partner to pedagogy to more equitably serve the needs of our learners. It is her goal to design schools that empower learners to change the world.


    About the Moderator

    Patricia G. Alarcón, AIA

    Patricia is a California licensed architect, with more than 25 years of experience designing K-12 and higher education projects. In her role as Principal and Academic Practice Area Leader at Ratcliff, she is dedicated to designing student-centered environments that transform and elevate the learning experience.

    She believes an inclusive and collaborative design process offers greater efficiency and leads to the most successful outcomes. Raised in Lima, Perú, she brings a multi-cultural perspective to her work, and is dedicated to building bridges and lasting partnerships.

    As a leader in her firm, she is deeply committed to fostering a more equitable and just practice. She started Ratcliff’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) group, which champions policies and initiatives that foster diverse representation and inclusive design both within the firm and the industry at large. Patricia is currently Chair of AIASF’s Latinx in Architecture (LiA) Committee and on the Design Review Committee for UC Merced.


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    Wednesday, February 23, 2022
    5:00 pm - 6:30 pm PST
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