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” A la vista de los resultados que predije y que nadie en mi entorno veía posible, ni siquiera aquellos en favor de la salida, me siento obligada a escribir un post reflexivo para las elecciones de mañana, en las que desafortunadamente no podré participar. En el Reino des-Unido, como ya se ha hecho evidente el la prensa internacional, ha sido la mayoría quien ha decidido votar en favor de una salida de la Union Europea. Desafortunadamente, la misma mayoría que vio el referendum como la oportunidad de comunicar su frustración por el abandono de las instituciones (de este gobierno y los anteriores) a través de los años, sera quien sienta con mas dureza las consecuencias de la salida.


My grandmother told me that you don’t go to someone else’s house and tell them how to run it and maybe because of this I have, so far, reflected in silence about the impact that a Brexit would have in my life. I have sat and looked at how a plural society I admire and respect has become polarised under the influence of manipulated figures and bad photoshop. I have felt the way in which the same British people who have thank me for my help and support at key stages of both their career and businesses have suddenly taken an anti-EU position that would stop others, like me, to help many, like them, in the future. Moreover, they have made sure that I knew about it. I have heard how the same collective of people I have dedicated so many years of my life to help provide affordable housing for, accuse Europeans (like me) of taking away their homes , damaging their economy and quality of life. And in the streets, I have seen …

Lecciones de juez

“(Imagen Paul Grace, WICE Awards) A veces pienso que, quizá debiese haber escuchado al profesor de dibujo de segundo quien hablaba de dejar la carrera que el mismo describía como “al borde de la saturación”; porque es duro ser arquitecto, sobre todo en el siglo veintiuno. Yo no quería ser arquitecto, no al menos al principio… Al principio, después de haber visto aquellas imágenes de niños muriendo de hambre en el telediario, con moscas en su cara y tripas hinchadas, lo que yo quería haber sido era presidente! Que tópico pensareis! Pues ya veis, esa es la realidad… No fui la única a la que las imágenes de la hambruna en Etiopía hicieron abandonar su niñez, lo se porque a lo largo de los años he conocido a otr@s. En mi caso, una lectora de Mafalda, con una abuela ingeniero y en pleno Thatcherismo, el querer ser presidente (para poder resolver problemas importantes como aquel) no era siquiera un pensamiento extraño. Sin embargo, cuando llego el momento de decidir, mi vida tomo otro cauce. Cuando …


First published on the NAWIC Website (LINK) Last Thursday, 19th of May, the winners of the 2016 WICE awards were announced in a beautiful ceremony at the Hilton Southwalk in London. The European Women in Construction and Engineering awards, is an annual event set up by Zars Media to raise the profile of those women who are doing a great job within our industry. Cristina Lanz-Azcarate, London and South East Chair for NAWIC was a judge for this year’s edition and she has agreed to narrate her experience , as an insider, here: “ When I was asked to be a judge at the 2016 WICE awards, I was very touched. As a woman fully dedicated to the industry, since I took upon myself to join the world of architecture, I have been lucky to work with some remarkable women who kept telling me how impressed they were with my work ; while being completely unaware of how incredible THEY are. During the many years I worked in commercial practices and particularly since becoming a Regional …

Hablando se entiende la gente

“Cuando llegue al Reino Unido, rodeada de no-hispanos/no-arquitectos, a menudo recibía dos tipos de criticismo con relación al lenguaje que utilizaba. El mas común era que mi acento estaba americanizado y el segundo que el vocabulario que utilizaba era de creación propia. Si bien debo admitir que durante mis años en la Escuela de Arquitectura de San Sebastian tuve much@s amig@s de los EEUU, y que esto pudo afectar la manera en la que pronunciaba mis As y Rs , lo del vocabulario me tenia completamente confundida. Inventado? (una pausa para pedir perdón por mi puntuación, mi teclado es Británico y solo tiene media interrogación, exclamación…)

Euskera, our language

I have lived in London for a long time and more often than not people are surprised to hear that I am Basque at the question of “where are you from?” My accent is the combination of the languages I speak (English, Spanish and Basque) with my basic Japanese and my husband’s accent. As a result, more often than not, people are unsure of its providence. People are even more surprised when they realise that English is my third language and that Basque (Euskera for us) is an actual pre indo-European language with unknown origins. (there is a fantastic page on Wikipedia where all your questions may be responded, link here) So this year, I have taken upon myself to share a few useful words with those of you out there who will be traveling to my homeland for that I know that it will be greatly appreciated by the locals the fact that you are making an effort. (I also know that British are keen to learn a few words of local languages before traveling to …

Taylor Wessing 2015: a theme & the odd one out

I know a very experienced photographer who, each year, attends this exhibition with his photographer friends. During their visit, each looks at the images separately, analyse the themes/threads that run across the awarded works, and dissect them at the pub to understand the judges criteria. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a rather mathematical  approach, especially for an art award. I wondered whether it could possibly be as easy as he suggested to see those emerging topics and so, yesterday, after reading a reference within the ES magazine that reminded me it was that time of the year already, I decided to take on the challenge and see for myself.

Happy World Architecture Day 2015

I was looking for a photo of “me as a stereotypical architect” and I think I found the perfect one: This photo was taken by a dear friend and I think that you could easily play “how to spot an architect”: Dressed in black (to simplify the morning rituals), Camper shoes (for comfort), Cycling friendly clothing (to be able to jump on the bike to go to meetings or site at any time), large bag (we no longer carry portfolios but still carry large bags) and a foldable umbrella …which lives in the bag (to give us shelter anytime) …Gosh! After all that, back to the story: I decided that my contribution to this day will be sharing my chapter in an on-going project we have at NAWIC titled “Ask the…”. It is a collection of mini interviews with professionals of the construction industry to share an insight to their daily lives as well as their journey to get there with the next generation in mind. It is available for free online and as the project grows we hope that it will become a …