Jennifer Bonner, Andrea Leers, Sheila Kennedy, Jessica Varner

NOMAS Power Lunch: Women in Practice

Hosted by the MIT Chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS)Moderated by Jessica Varner

Jennifer Bonner, Andrea Leers, Sheila Kennedy, Jessica Varner

Jennifer Bonner

Jennifer Bonner is Director of MALL and Assistant Professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Born in Alabama, Bonner is a recipient of an AR Award for Emerging Architecture (Architectural Review), Emerging Voices Award (American Institute of Architects/ Young Architects Forum), and two Faculty Design Awards (Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture). Jennifer received a Bachelor of Architecture from Auburn University and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Her research and design work has been published in journals including Architect Magazine, Architectural Review, Architectural Record, Wallpaper, a+t, DAMn, ART PAPERS, PLAT, and MAS Context. Most recently, she was the guest editor for ART PAPERS special architecture and design issue on Los Angeles and Harvard GSD’s Platfom: Still Life. Bonner has exhibited at the pinkcomma gallery in Boston, Goat Farm in Atlanta, WUHO Gallery in Los Angeles, HistoryMIAMI, and the Istanbul Design Biennial.

Andrea Leers

Dedicated to seeking cross-cultural connections, Andrea Leers is an internationally recognized leader in urban and campus design, and building for higher education. She is co-founder, with Jane Weinzapfel, of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, a Boston based practice whose work lies at the intersection of architecture, urban design, and infrastructure. In 2007, Leers Weinzapfel Associates received the AIA Firm Award, the first and only women-owned firm to be so honored. Andrea is former Director of the Master in Urban Design Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where she was Adjunct Professor of Architecture and Urban Design from 2001 to 2011.  Previously she was Adjunct Professor at Yale University.  In 2007, she was Chaire des Amériques at the Sorbonne (Université de Paris), in 1997 she was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, and in 1982 was NEA/Japan U.S. Friendship Commission Design Arts Fellow. Andrea holds an undergraduate degree in art history from Wellesley College, and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Fine Arts.

Sheila Kennedy

Sheila Kennedy received her Bachelor's Degree in history, philosophy and literature from the College of Letters at Wesleyan University. Kennedy studied architecture at the Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris and received the Masters of Architecture from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University where she won the SOM National Traveling Fellowship and was graduated with Distinction, the School's highest academic honor. As Associate Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Kennedy was Director of the M Arch II Program from 1991-1995 and is currently Professor of the Practice of Architecture at MIT. As a Principal of Kennedy & Violich Architecture Ltd. (KVA), over 15 years Sheila Kennedy has established an internationally recognized design practice that explores architecture, digital technology and emerging public needs.http://www.kvarch.net/
Jessica VarnerJessica Varner is an architect, historian, and PhD student in the History, Theory & Criticism section at MIT. Her research looks at the intersections of the history of environmentalism and architecture from the nineteenth century to the present, including production histories, health and hygiene, labor equality, chemical industries, and building material toxicology. Her dissertation is titled "Crafting Permanence, Producing Decay: Toxicology and Techne in the 19th Century." Her research has been supported under a MIT Presidential Fellowship, research grants from the MIT MISTI India Program, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Graham Foundation. Ms. Varner received a B.S. from University of Nebraska, a Master of Architecture degree, and Master of Environmental Design from Yale University. Prior to MIT, she was a professor and architectural designer in Los Angeles for over five years (with Michael Maltzan Architecture).https://architecture.mit.edu/student/jessica-varner