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Women Who Inspire: Deborah Berke

(Photo Courtesy of DBurke.com)

NAME: Deborah Berke

AGE: 59

OCCUPATION: Architect, Deborah Berke Partners

WHO SHE IS: Her designs are often described as “understated.” She herself is, supposedly, “reserved” and “humble.” You might think that means her body of work doesn’t stand out as exceptional, but 30 years of thoughtful and sophisticated buildings will tell you otherwise. From homes and hotels to museums and university buildings, Deborah’s command of an elegant yet restrained design aesthetic has allowed her to create timeless and rich spaces that celebrate the inhabitants and context as much as the architecture. She also believes that her practice, Deborah Berke Partners, only plays a partial role in creating vibrant places: As an adjunct professor at Yale School of Architecture and a Founding Trustee of the Design Trust for Public Space in New York City, she has a direct effect on both future generations of designers and entire communities.

WHY SHE INSPIRES ME: During the course of my career I have often tried to identify women architects who, like me, have their own practice, teach and raise a family. Add “build beautiful buildings” to that list and you’ll find that even now the list is very short. Deborah has done all that and more, never stopping to worry about trends, getting stuff built and moving through life with style and grace.

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Rudabeh Pakravan

I am an architect and educator living in Berkeley. I love experiencing the various scales that exist in all cities, from finding the perfect secret courtyard in the middle of Los Angeles to standing small in the space next to the Seagram Building. You can learn more about my professional and academic life here (http://ced.berkeley.edu/ced/faculty-staff/rudabeh-pakravan).

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