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Today we’ve been chatting to the ladies from The NW chapter of @urbanistasuk, a women-led network with a focus on amplifying and empowering the voices of people in making cities better for everyone.
Founded by Roxanne Chenery, Frances Phillips and Rachel Carter-Jones.

Claire: Tell us a little about yourselves and the UrbanistasNW (as we know its not your full time role)

UrbanistasNW: We are all full time architects, and yes, UrbanistasNW is our side gig 🙂 A few of us are also keen runners, potters and yogis! 

Claire: Where, What you do, how long?

UrbanistasNW: We are a group of seven female architects. Three of us set up UrbanistasNW in April 2019, with a further 4 joining the core group in May, so we are nearly at the 2 year mark!

Claire: Congratulations! We’ve been to many an Urbanistas ‘event in Manchester and can vouch for how great they are!

Claire: When/ where and what did you study?

UrbanistasNW: Most of us studied at the Manchester School of Architecture, with varying start dates across a 20 year period! 

Claire: When/what made you want to be an Architect?

UrbanistasNW: The desire to play an active role in shaping our cities and environment, to make it a more equitable and diverse place to live, work and play.

Claire: Do you have a favourite project or one you are most proud of?

UrbanistasNW: We are very proud of our INSPO events, this is a platform for female role models to talk about their career achievements, encouraging more women to speak up in the construction industry. 

Claire: Who are two of your heroes? (Work and/or otherwise) 

UrbanistasNW: 1) We all admire the late Jane Jacobs; a writer, urban activist and power house 2) Marcus Rashford is our kind of guy. 

Claire: Which building do you wish you’d designed?

UrbanistasNW: Any of the Maggie’s Centres. It would be a privilege to design something that was so focused on the end user.

Claire: If you weren’t an Architect what would you be doing?

UrbanistasNW: As a group we are all very people focussed, so a career that involved helping people would suit us down to the ground. 

Claire: Now I always like to ask a couple of random questions so here goes …If you could live in anyone’s head for fifteen minutes (Being John Malkovich style), who would you choose?

UrbanistasNW: Being in Donald Trump’s head would be fascinating. 

Claire: I often think the same truth be told … although I think if you did go in there it might send you a little crazy?!

And finally …

Claire: If you had to choose – what kind of biscuit would you be? And why?

UrbanistasNW: A chocolate digestive, just because they are the best to dunk! 


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