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Equity in Architecture | Rosa Sheng | TEDxPhiladelphia

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Published on Feb 10, 2016

When Rosa Sheng was a child, she dreamed of being an architect but was discouraged by her family. The outrage she felt as a youth resurfaced by the time she was a grown-up, successful architect ready to jump ship and leave her job. In her revealing talk, Sheng describes the challenges and “pinch points” faced by women in architecture, and relays the eye-opening moment when it took three dinner invitations from Steve Jobs to make her realize her value. Since then, her Equity by Design organization has called for action to be taken on the data - and has brought to the table a community ready to join forces to accomplish the daunting and “eat the whale”.

Rosa Sheng sees equity as everyone’s issue. Sheng is a licensed architect with over 20 years experience. Sheng has led a variety of acclaimed projects, including the highly technical development of the glass structures for Apple’s original high-profile retail stores. Sheng helped launch a national conversation about the lack of women leaders in her field. She is the Founding Chair of the American Institute of Architects San Francisco (AIASF) Committee: Equity by Design. Equity by Design is a call to action for both women and men to realize the goal of equitable practice to advance architecture and communicate the value of design to society. Sheng spearheaded the group’s groundbreaking study, “The Missing 32% Project”, which examined the reasons behind the dramatic drop-off rate between women in schooling for architecture and women who went on to become licensed practicing architects.


This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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