Women In Design Symposium: Creative Entrepreneurship

The evolution of the architectural profession continues to blur the lines between inspired designers and driven entrepreneurs.

Architects are challenged to develop and market ideas, collaborate with investors at numerous scales, and span disciplines to define creative initiatives. Merging the role of designer and entrepreneur offers the ability to leverage talent with profitability, redefining pathways to success in leadership and business practices. How do designers begin to explore the role of “Creative Entrepreneur” as the facilitator of business initiative, communication, and professional navigation within the greater design community?

See workshops B32 Designing Profitability in the Business Management and Development track and B72 Design, Impact, and Meaning: Emerging Models of Socially Entrepreneurial Design in The Future of Practice track.

Platinum sponsor:

Gold sponsor:

Silver Sponsors:


SB12 | Wednesday, 8:00am–9:30am
Entrepreneurship is an oft-heard buzzword across business sectors. What does it mean for Creatives in today’s economic landscape? This year, Women In Design have invited five practitioners from various business and design backgrounds to hold a spirited discussion about the impact of entrepreneurial thinking. From innovative practice models to protecting creative property and stimulating economic growth, the panel will provide a range of insights into the many opportunities for the creative professional. Enjoy breakfast with colleagues and hear the panel tackle this timely topic.

Stefane Barbeau, Acting Director, DIGMA
Janet Echelman, Artist, Studio Echelman
Robert Miklos, Founding Principal, designLAB
Margaret Minister, Intellectual Property Attorney, Partner, Pierce Atwood, LLC
Rashmi Ramaswamy, Co-founder, SHED Studio

B32 | Wednesday, 10:00am–11:30am
Successful firms do more than design beautiful projects, they make money doing it! This panel will discuss the operational decisions that promote the fiscal stability and professional longevity of a design practice. Each panelist has played a pivotal role in defining the business practice of their award-winning firm and will share their perspective on how to maintain the health of an office. Attendees will hear how firms ranging in size create value for the office through both income and expenditures. Critical aspects of profitability will be covered including internal budgeting, fee negotiation and efficient production.

Lisa Brothers, President and Chief Executive Officer, Nitsch Engineering
Katy Flammia, Lead Interior Architect, NBBJ
Lisa Hynes, Intern Architect, Goody Clancy
Shelley Simon, Architect/Principal, Beardsley Design Associates
Winnie Stopps, Associate Principal, Leers WeinzapfelAssociates

SB13 | Wednesday, 1:00pm–2:30pm
The WID Awards Ceremony & Luncheon serves as the primary public presentation for this year’s Women In Design Award of Excellence. The annual award now in its 15th year, honors individuals who have exhibited exceptional achievement in person, process, product and position. Past winners will present the awards to this year’s honorees. Join WID and our growing outstanding cohort of Women In Design for a truly inspiring anniversary celebration. All attendees will receive a15th Anniversary Commemorative Gift.

2014 Award Winners are Neri Oxman and Laura Wernick FAIA. Learn more.

WID Luncheon Sponsors

Platinum: Gold:     Silver:    

B72 | Wednesday, 3:30pm–5:00pm
The past two decades have seen the boundaries between for-profit and nonprofit increasingly blurred, in both design and the wider market. Design practitioners are experimenting with and producing new models that hybridize social impact and financial sustainability in creative ways. This session presents business models and shares the strategies and tactics that some of these emerging practices use to make impact and achieve financial stability. These insights, based on interviews with more than fifteen practices, including for-profits such as Utile and Interboro Partners ands nonprofits such as MASS Design and Ideo.org, illustrate the widening array of choices available to design practitioners interested in social impact. The goal of the session is to share and disseminate strategies that practitioners can use to 'remix' and alter their practices--reshaping them to leverage design to achieve social good. The session draws on the research of Proactive Practices, a research collaborative co-founded in 2012 to investigate emerging models of socially entrepreneurial design, and to shed light on the larger question of how innovations in this sector are redefining the scope of traditional design processes.

Nick McClintock, University of Pennsylvania
Gilad Meron, Design Researcher & Strategist, Enterprise Community Partners & The Autodesk Foundation
Mia Scharphie, Landscape Designer, GroundView LLC

SB14 | Wednesday, 4:00pm–6:00pm
Come and get Happy and support Rosie’s Place. Rosie’s Place provides a safe and nurturing environment to help poor and homeless women maintain their dignity, seek opportunity and find security in their lives. Rosie’s Place has evolved from providing meals and shelter to creating permanent solutions through advocacy and education. Network with your colleagues, enjoy a cocktail, and support a worthy cause.