Our 5th in the series of hot-shots doing some really nice work around the globe and making a significant contribution to the design world. Thanks to everyone who contributed names, projects and ideas.

Jan Gleason, U.S.A.
We’d like to start out by acknowledging the loss of a true hero here in the Northwest. Founder of Environmental Works, a non profit firm in specializing in child-care centers, homeless shelters, low-income housing and community centers, Gleason believed everyone deserves good design. In addition to acting on that belief, she played soccer, was a cellist in the Cascade Symphony Orchestra and even put in time for other non-profits. She set an outstanding example and she’ll be missed.

Monica Ponce de Leon, U.S.A
Her work is innovative and challenges design protocols with fresh new solutions. Organic geometrical moves provide functional solutions and develop elegantly pleasing interiors.

Hilary Sample, U.S.A.
Delicate and diverse is the work of Sample. The finished products push the envelope of conceptual design, at the same time they maintain a careful agenda. Some of her work simply makes us think a bit differently about the built-environment, other work has our tongues dragging on the ground.

Kazuyo Sejima, Japan
It takes confidence and wisdom to propose designs as minimal and sterile as the work of Sejima.  Her work focuses on the geometries and apertures that lie within seemingly simple forms. Her recent exhibit that toured the country, a collection models both built and proposed, was Bold with a capital B, like pushing a new agenda for architecture kind of Bold. It had our full attention.

Julie Snow, U.S.A.
Luminous and unencumbered, Snow’s work is the warm lantern in the cold northern winter. Her method of design is rich enough to give comfort, sparse enough to allow nature to take center stage. The thought of throwing a swanky party in one of her rocket-hot lakeshore vacation homes gets our gears going. We promise not to spill Pinot Noir on the couch Julie, c’mon just one little soire…

Benedetta Tagliabue, Spain
Tagliabue’s work is a rediscovery of form, color and mechanics. Her work is both playful and daring. Most of us will be lucky to achieve a single project in our lives with the level of ambition that each of her projects displays.

Maryann Thompson, U.S.A.
An architect with both technical competence and an eye for intriguing composition is rare. Thompson covers them both and then proceeds right on to knocking the ball out the park with her projects. Forward thinking in design, yet still warm and human these projects really speak to us and we spent a great deal of time reviewing her work. Kudos for a clean, easy to navigate website; taking the time and effort for high quality photos also makes a tremendous difference.

Billy Tsein, U.S.A.
Ahh Billy, so mysterious and elegant. In grad school they sung songs about her in the hills. Each and every project is deliberate and important as a piece of architecture. Each project has significance in the world.  Intentional about what she takes on, intelligent and beautiful in the solution, and masterful in the execution, Tsein transcends design into epiphany.

Nathalie de Vries, Netherlands
Equal parts architect and human psychologist, the work of de Vries questions not only the design agenda but also the human agenda. Her solutions are striking in composition, wonderful in exploration and challenge the preconceived notions of living, working and playing. The design for the Dutch Pavilion at Expo 2000 makes us giggle with childlike fascination every time we see pictures of it.

Sarah Wigglesworth, U.K.
Wigglesworth brings a breath of fresh air to the urban context. Her forms are serious architecture well integrated to their sites. The interiors are inspiring spaces to be in and the envelopes abide by the form follows function aesthetic – big respect.

The “Women Making an Impact” is an ongoing series – hit that comments button to nominate your favorites or follow along with the BUILDblog research via twitter.