On International Women’s Day, ACCIONA Cultural Engineering celebrates the contribution of women to history, culture and society.
Eight women architects and engineers give us their particular vision of their profession and the cultural sector in which they work.
Cultural engineering is a term that refers to “the resolution of problems of cultural origin and the creative design of solutions applied to social, urban and community development”. For ACCIONA Cultural Engineering, the development of cultural strategies offers unique opportunities to transform the pulse of cities, as they generate new spaces for knowledge, experiences and interconnection between people, favoring individual and community well-being.
The role that museums, exhibitions and large-scale events play in the progress of societies and their contribution to the economic, social, urban and even environmental transformation of the cities where they are located or take place is evident.
For this reason, it is essential for cultural engineers to work in multidisciplinary and multicultural environments, which allows them to approach each project from a holistic perspective and in all its dimensions (economic, social, humanistic, cultural…).
On International Women’s Day, which is celebrated on March 8, this year we recognize the work of women engineers and architects working at ACCIONA Cultural Engineering, cultural engineers who opted for a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) career for their training and who show exceptional qualities to focus on this sector. It is worth noting that today’s society would not be understood without the contribution of women to science, culture and society throughout history.
In this article, eight women architects and engineers give us their particular vision, demonstrating their talent and ability to develop iconic cultural infrastructures such as those undertaken by ACCIONA Cultural Engineering, infrastructures capable of building new environments and realities with which to grow and advance, individually and as a society.
Gala Gómez, civil engineer and site manager of Terra – Sustainability Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, highlights her profession’s ability to solve problems: “Engineering has always seemed like an extremely interesting field to me, especially its high degree of applicability, its analytical aspects and its focus on solving problems and optimisation. It also tends to encourage multidisciplinary team work, something that I really enjoy”.
Sheila del Amo
For Sheila del Amo, architect and BIM Manager of the UAE Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, architecture is clearly linked to social benefit. “I feel fortunate to work as an architect in the field of cultural engineering, allowing me to participate in providing technical solutions to real problems that help the community and promote social benefit. I encourage all women who are considering entering this field that there is no greater satisfaction than knowing that your daily work is helping to lead us towards the global change that is increasingly needed.”
Mara Giattini, architect and project manager of the Interiors area of ACCIONA Cultural Engineering, highlights the relationship that architects establish with the environment and society and how this is reflected in the result: “Sensibility and empathy with the social environment are qualities that many women bring to their work and translate into a very organic, warm and sustainable architecture”.
Teamwork is another aspect to highlight in these technical professions, as María Padilla, architect and Interiors Design Manager at ACCIONA Cultural Engineering, explains: “With more than 20 years working in the architecture and interior design sector, I can affirm that what really counts is teamwork, organization and the enthusiasm with which projects are faced. These are the basis for the best result”.
Irene Guiberteau, building and material engineer, who is currently working as site manager for the Expo Dubai 2020 Thematic Districts Pavilions project, also highlights the applicability of engineering to meet the needs: “I believe that engineering is an excellent tool for providing practical solutions for real needs and problems”.
Another aspect that makes this work so stimulating is the satisfaction of making culture accessible to people, explains Ana Carvajal, building engineer, planning and cost control and coordinator of the Tendering department: “Working with public or private organisations in order to bring to life all kinds of cultural concepts and make them accessible to diverse audiences across the world is both what motivates and challenges me daily in my role”.
For Claudia Vivas, architect of the Terra – Sustainability Pavilion exhibition project at Expo Dubai 2020, the most stimulating thing about working in the cultural sector is the learning you take away from each project: “What I like most about working in the cultural sector is the amount of knowledge you acquire with each project. Each museum, exhibition, pavilion is unique, and they all leave a mark on you. It’s impossible to get bored, each project is a challenge”.
Finally, the transformative power of architecture and its ability to drive change are also aspects that confer great value to this profession. In the words of Lorena Ortega, architect and production manager of the museum projects Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalifa House, Abu Dhabi and Shindagha Museums 3B, Dubai: “Architecture is a valuable resource to support the increasing global change. It is always the beginning of a transformation”.
Asumir los infinitos retos a los que cada día se enfrentan estas mujeres en su profesión no es sencillo, pero afortunadamente podemos afirmar que gracias a la pasión y empuje con el que se entregan cada día, dejarán su huella en el campo de la ingeniería cultural. Confiamos en que sus testimonios sirvan de inspiración, tanto a las mujeres que comienzan su andadura en estas profesiones, como a las futuras generaciones, contribuyendo entre todas, con su valiosa visión y su trabajo, al progreso de la sociedad.