Words: Debika Ray
To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, we’ve invited nine leading women in design to tell us about the emerging talents they admire most.
The award-winning architect is known for her storytelling-led approach (studiomackereth.com)
Natasha caught my eye because of her project related to the housing crisis. Her research deals head-on with subjects we urgently need to tackle, such as urban density, tenure and budgets. It also captures the zeitgeist of the post-Covid world, for example by challenging the design of typologies like the office. Her work as part of the Loneliness Lab couldn’t be more relevant, and the importance she places on a sense of belonging is also of the moment. She isn’t afraid to embrace words that relate to emotion and intimacy – architects, as builders of cities, have a responsibility to design for human qualities such as sociability. I admire her energy and her belief in architecture as a force for positive change.
ONE TO WATCH: Natasha Reid
Tell us about your practice Matter.Space.Soul.
Our aim is to advance how the places we create can improve quality of life and wellbeing. In 2015, we won a competition for innovative solutions to the housing crisis. Our concept related to how large-scale development can be done at a human scale by paying attention to how people want to live and creating a sense of community. Since then we’ve implemented different aspects of this through various projects.
What are the challenges facing cities?
We’ll soon start to see the long-term impacts of the pandemic, with the reimagining of offices and high streets, and the strengthening of neighbourhoods. There is an opportunity to bring about new approaches in this moment of disruption.