Blog %

There has been much discussion raised about "Why are women leaving Architecture? and more broadly, Why is the profession losing key talent?"  Both women and men practitioners are disillusioned by the myth of work/life balance: Women are grappling with "have it all" expectations of juggling family time with the demands of full-time work.  Men are struggling to support their families solely on an architect's salary and fall back on asking spouses to maintain their jobs. The lack of affordable childcare and high cost of living only magnifies the challenges.  How did we end up in this modern family dilemma? What can we do to improve the situation?


by Lilian Asperin, AIA

We love creating opportunities, opening big doors and channeling the enthusiasm that comes when you feel both welcome and invited. This year we are grateful once more to all our #EQxDHack18 Hackathon Sponsors, with our biggest champion, Autodesk's Danny Guillory - Head of Diversity and Inclusion, who have graciously partnered with us to support our goal of creating a multi-disciplinary and inclusive framework by sponsoring scholarships for participation in the fourth EQxD Hackathon at an AIA National Conference.

We have awarded this year's scholarships to include a unique and amazing group of graduate students, emerging professionals, and young architects. The excitement in their own words let us know that they are READY.


“I'm excited to participate in this year's hackathon because this event will be unlike anything I have ever experienced.  I can only imagine that when a group of creative people is united with one goal in mind, to create an architectural profession that is more diverse, inclusive, and equitable – something amazing will happen. I can’t wait to learn, collaborate, and create. I’m sure that this experience will be challenging, rewarding, and most of all fun.”

Kymberli Barrett.jpg

Kymberli D. Barrett, Emerging Professional

Instagram: @kymbo_nice

Twitter: @kymbo_nice



Kymberli is a designer at TreanorHL in Atlanta, GA. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science in architecture & construction science from Prairie View A&M University and a Master’s in architecture from Savannah College of Art and Design. She is passionate about building up communities through service and thoughtful design.


“I will just have returned from Kenya, and am excited to jump right into this hackathon. I’m excited to meet the other Hackers and see what kinds of solutions we can create.”

Devanne Pena.jpg

Devanne Pena, Registered Architect

Instagram: @archidev

Twitter: @devannepena


Devanne Pena (Deh-vin Pee-nuh) is a freelance architect who is spending 2018 with no zipcode. She is currently conducting pre-design research and development for her non-profit organization Sustainable AF (Architecture Foundation). In 2016, Devanne became the 375th African-American woman licensed to practice architecture, in history. She activates this unique platform by sharing her story while participating and supporting efforts that align with the advancement of people of color. She served as assistant editor then editor-in-chief of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Magazine from 2012 to 2015, and was a 2016 American Institute of Architects Emerging Fellow. Devanne has been featured in articles by National Public Radio, National Council of Architectural Registration Board, Austin Women Magazine, The Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce.


“The equity, diversity, inclusion topic is very close to my own day-a-day living experience. I’m a woman that immigrated from Colombia 14 years ago. I work for an Engineering company where men comprise 99% of the professional workforce. I’m the only foreigner and one of two female Architects. I’m excited to learn from other experiences, to share my own and to be able to develop concepts for improving justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”

Graciela Carrillo.JPG

Graciela Carrillo, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

Instagram: @gracecol

Twitter: @gracecolny


Originally from Colombia, Graciela Carrillo immigrated to the US in early 2003. While in Colombia, Graciela worked as an Architect at the Bogota’s Institute of Urban Development (IDU), a Government owned institution in charge of city planning and infrastructure construction for Bogotá. Currently she works as an Architect for Cashin Associates, P.C . At Cashin, she has worked on and lead all scales of urban design, planning and architectural projects, and LEED project administration and CX services. Graciela has committed almost a decade of volunteer leadership service to the AIA. She has been involved with the AIA at the local, state and national level, currently serving as the President-Elect as well as the EP and WIA Co-Chair of the AIA Long Island Chapter. On a National and State level in 2017, Graciela was appointed as the NY Regional Director (YARD) for the Young Architects Forum (YAF) and sits on the AIA NYS Board of Directors. Graciela obtained her B. Arch in Colombia, and a MS in Env. Planning from Pratt Institute and is a LEED Accredited Professional.


“Developing concepts to improve justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in architectural practice and the communities we serve is a relevant and important task for the design community to hack.  While the task at hand is complex and daunting, I believe it is an important conversation to lead and continue as design professionals. I am looking forward to the format we will use to tackle such a problem; working with fellow professionals who will challenge the practice of architecture by openly discussing the problems and creating radical actionable solutions through a hackathon.”   

Lubna Chaudhry.jpg

Lubna Chaudhry, Associate AIA

Ayers Saint Gross - Baltimore, Md

Instagram: @chaudhrylubna



Lubna Chaudry graduated in 2015 with a Masters of Architecture from The University of Maryland, where she was also the Chapter President of AIAS during her undergraduate study. She is currently on the path to licensure, working AXP and ARE's.


“I am excited to be a part of the Hackathon as a way to meet like-minded architects who are conscious of topics such as inclusion and diversity in their design practice. I am particularly interested in urban planning and find that it is our responsibility as designers and architects to consider context when designing buildings. I have always enjoyed design charrettes as a way to meet people and quickly exchange ideas when confronting everyday situations in the architecture field.”

Stephanie Haller.jpg

Stephanie Haller

Master of Architecture Candidate, Syracuse University

Instagram: @snhaller



Stephanie Haller is currently at candidate for a Master of Architecture degree at Syracuse University. She graduated from Temple University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Architectural Preservation.


“I'm incredibly excited to participate in the Hackathon to gain insight in how to address and become a resource for empowerment within my firm and the profession in the conversation about Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. I'm looking forward to meeting leaders of the industry and learning from their experience and expertise. I'm also interested in joining a growing network of EDI champions across the country for the betterment of our industry and our communities.”

Yiselle Santos Rivera.jpg

Yiselle Santos Rivera, Assoc. AIA

HKS - Washington, D.C.

Twitter: @YiselleSantos  



Yiselle Santos, Associate AIA, LEEP AP is a graduate of Syracuse University School of Architecture and currently leads the HKS, Inc. Washington, DC office Practice Technology efforts in all phases of design and construction documentation enhancing workflows through the incorporation of innovative technologies. She is a co-founder of the Latin American Interior Designers, Engineers, and Architects (LA.IDEA) Committee of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Washington, DC Chapter with the mission to become the leading collective of Latin American design professionals in the DC area by creating opportunities for interaction among members, fostering professional development, and engaging the community. She is an AIA Washington, DC Chapter Board member, a Christopher Kelley Leadership Development Program Scholar, the Emerging Professional Outreach Committee Leader for the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, and the Advocacy Outreach and Education At-Large Director of the AIA National Associates Committee. Yiselle recently founded the AIA WIELD series, an inspiring and empowering story telling event where Women Inspire Emerging Leaders in Design and is a 2018 AIA Associate Award recipient.



“I am curious about the connection between social problems and design progress, and how the whole society can impact on architecture and make our space a better place to live. ‘Equity’ is largely ignored during design process because we, as designers, are biased, so the designs from designer's experience most of time are not related to people who actually live there. I hope from this event, I can broaden my horizon and rethink the architecture design and how it can make a better place for everyone.”

Miao Hui.JPG

Miao Hui

Master of Architecture Candidate, Syracuse University

Instagram: huimiao1993



Miao Hui is a graduate of Beijing University of Technology. She is currently at candidate for the Master of Architecture degree at Syracuse University.



“It is an action-oriented and inspiring workshop. Equity is important for everyone, and the EQxD Hackathon embodies the human spirit. I also interested in the value of architecture to society.”

Han Jiang.JPG

Han Jiang

Master of Architecture Candidate, Syracuse University




Han Jiang is currently at candidate for the Master of Architecture degree at Syracuse University.


“I am excited and inspired by this year’s Hackathon theme ArchitectuRE:evolution. Architecture is currently undergoing an evolution as a profession and I want to be part of the generation that embraces inclusiveness and equity in architecture. I am looking forward to having a thoughtful, engaging and challenging hack discussion with other professionals about to future of architecture academically and professionally.”

Anesu Dhliwayo.jpeg

Anesu M. Dhliwayo, Emerging Professional

Twitter: @anesumercy

Instagram: @anesumd


Anesu Dhliwayo is an emerging professional in architecture and a recent graduate of Boston Architectural College. As the Alpha Rho Chi Bronze Medal – 2016 Recipient, Anesu hopes here career in architecture is guided by the awards principals of leadership and service. She currently lives in San Francisco and works at Gould Evans where she is a member of the Equity Committee and Licensure Committee.


“To be a part of the Hackathon, I expect to prepare myself to have an experience with AIA members and (to study a) collection of information related to architecture. I'm excited to enjoy the event since I could be invited to learn about design, profession and practice of architecture. I am glad to share my own stories with the goal that my work advances equity in architecture and to learn from others' stories - that will also inspire me lots.”

Peilin Hu.jpg

Peilin Hu

Master of Architecture Candidate, Syracuse University




Peilin Hu graduated from Arizona State University at May 2016 and now joined in Master of Architecture program at School of Architecture in Syracuse University. Peilin's experience is grounded in practical and hands-on architectural design adept at successfully and effectively interacting with contractors across multiple construction sites.

We are eager to gather these voices of emerging professionals, graduate students and those of 60 others who signed up for A'18 EV202 Wednesday, June 20th, 2018 to hack at the Syracuse Fisher Center.  (Yes, the event is sold out.)

Happy Hour IS SOLD OUT! Thanks for your support of our event!

Thank you Syracuse University Fisher Center

Special Thanks to Syracuse University School of Architecture, Dean Michael Speaks, Xiaoyin Li, and dedicated staff at the Fisher Center for making this event  possible.



Special Thanks to our amazing EQxD Sponsors!