Build Better Podcast

Elevating Women in Architecture with Julia Gamolina

Julia Gamolina

by Emily Langner

Season two of the Build Better podcast kicks off with an interview with Julia Gamolina, founder and editorial director of Madame Architect, a platform highlighting women that advance the practice of architecture from all backgrounds, levels, and corners of the field.

HP’s publisher, Anastasia Barnes, talks with Gamolina about her journey as an architect and how she hopes to encourage young women to enter the field of architecture by showing the choices they have in crafting a dynamic, meaningful, and interesting career.

Currently the director of strategy for Trahan Architects in New York City, Gamolina says she spent most of her time in school studying the work of people she couldn’t relate to. Not only was there a scarcity of stories about women in the industry but she realized there really wasn’t a good representation of all of the different career paths available in architecture.

Gamolina started Madame Architect with the goal of showing other young women all of the possibilities available to someone with a degree in architecture, and to inspire them to explore the options and find the career they are most passionate about.

Madame Architect focuses on the personal stories of the women that it highlights, including the challenges they face in a male-dominated industry. Gamolina says the question she asks every guest is “What else makes them who they are other than architecture?” Some of her latest interviewees explore topics like diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the toll the COVID pandemic is having on women as they juggle childcare and their careers, and the often unconscious biases and sexism that still exist in the industry today.

Gamolina says her driving force is the feedback she gets from her readers who comment that they have really connected with a guest’s personal story, including their motivations and challenges as they navigate the industry. She hopes Madame Architect can be a resource for woman in the industry to explore and learn more about the many careers available, and to be inspired to follow their own interests and chart their own paths.

Gamolina emphasizes the importance of role models in her own journey and for women in the industry. She says that, for anyone who is in uncharted waters like a woman in architecture, and “when the path forward isn’t quite as clear as it may be in other industries or for other people, that’s when the importance of role models really comes in.” She adds, “You just need to see somebody that’s doing what you want to be doing…and for me, my role models have really gotten me to where I am today.”

To read the over 100 interviews that Gamolina and her team have published to date, visit madamearchitect.org.

Listen to season 2, episode 1 now!