Nicole’s path through architecture has brought her from building affordable housing on the Gulf Coast to working on high-rise downtown developments. The common thread in these experiences is her desire to learn as much as possible about all the factors that shape the way we live and look for ways to improve it. She is currently a candidate for the Masters in Community and Regional Planning program at UT Austin.
Whether she was helping to launch a nonprofit, making a home more energy efficient, or learning how to remodel a kitchen, Christina was challenged to exercise her design, leadership, and communication skills. The connections she has made through these experiences have been invaluable, and are what provided her the resources and knowledge to initiate Women.Design.Build. In addition to leading WDB, she is also the Community Manager of Center61.
It all started in Austin in the summer of 2009 with a conversation between two women who shared a passion for design and construction. As new friends, they began to seek out other women who were equally as excited about DIY projects and power tools, but discovered no such organized community existed. Having confidence that this community had potential to thrive, they decided to initiate one themselves. To them, the challenge was clear: there were minimal opportunities for women to pursue the trades of design and building in a supportive and collaborative environment. They thought: We can find a solution! But first, we need to look beyond our needs and address the interests of the community.
As time went on, the two women gathered a team of students, community leaders, and local tradespeople who shared their vision and wanted to see it come to full fruition. In June 2010, they hosted an open house, where many women (and some men!) of all ages gathered to ask questions, speak of their interests, and learn more about this emerging community. The attendees presented insightful stories, questions, and suggestions which helped to solidify a mission and a vision…Women.Design.Build was officially born.
Since that conversation two years ago, we have met many other women who share the same challenge as we once did. Together we are creatively constructing community. Come and join us!
We facilitate hands-on workshops for four populations: General Public, Young Women, Military Widows, and Single Moms.
Who we serve
Shop Talk: Mingle and Learn
A conversational workshop series directly providing participants design and build instruction from practitioners in the field. Shop Talks are held about once a month and can focus on anything from paper to power tools. Check the calendar to see what’s coming up next!
Connecting Young Women with Female Leaders
Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders
In the Spring 2012 Semester, students enrolled at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders were given the opportunity to meet and work with five local female leaders working in Construction, Design, Business, and Technology. Through in-class workshops, the students interacted with our leaders and learned what it’s like to work in the design and building industry. The students were introduced to laser-cutting, glass casting, space planning, solar design, and architectural design. View photos here!
If you are a parent or teacher interested in this type of youth empowerment program, please let us know!
Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
Science, Technology, Engineeri
Here are a few ways we’re getting involved:
Girl Scouts of Central Texas: STEM Fest – October 11th, 2011
Women in Engineering Program: Girl Day – February 23rd, 2013
TEDxYouth: LimitLess Conference – March 30th, 2013
Girlstart: Girls in STEM Conference – April 6th, 2013
Community Based Organizations
Empowering Women, One Community at a Time.
Saint Louise House
In July 2012, WDB leader, Samantha Hurst, taught single mothers of Saint Louise House (SLH) how to use tools and tackle basic maintenance projects. SLH is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and essential services to mothers and children experiencing homelessness in Central Texas. Saint Louise House “believes in women — in their power to transform their lives, their families and the Austin community”. A partnership with St. Louise House is both natural and needed, as we are both strongly invested in the empowerment of women.
American Widow Project
American Widow Project‘s mission is to unite a new generation of Military Widows through getaways and educational programs. Their goal is to allow Military Widows to reach their full potential in life by providing them with the necessary curriculum to ignite their passion and pursue their dreams. WDB facilitates educational workshops for this fun-loving group of ladies, helping to further both AWP’s and Women.Design.Build’s mission of educating and empowering women.