We’ve translated the article from its original text, which reads as follows…
“I wanted to be a biologist, because I thought that being a biologist I could have the answers to everything…
I went to the high school test, and they told me that I had a lot of artistic inclination and a lot of social interest… I did a mathematical sum: artistic + social and so on. I found architecture…it was a logical decision. It’s not that I wanted to be an architect since I was little, but rather that my natural qualities told me that this was the path I had to follow… and I followed it”.
An important reference that has always been present during her career is her mother. “My mother is a sculptor and she is the one who has involved me in the artistic theme, I think that this was the most important influence for me, because of her I developed the artistic interest that appeared in the school test”.
Not to mention Zaha Hadidm who is an inspiration to her and her mentors Helene de Garay, Celina Bentata and Maritza Rodriguez de Legorburu who was her first semester teacher.
On the other hand, her objective as an architect is to improve people’s quality of life. “My approach is to understand what the client’s objectives and desires are, to design that dream space for them.
My best project is my career…because it is and my trajectory: it is how I started, it is how I have developed and how far I have come; and how far I plan to go. I cannot give priority to any project, because each project and each client that has trusted me has helped me get to where I am and to be lucky enough to have been able to work as an architect for so many years”
As for the profession, it has changed a lot, now there are more women practicing the career than men and more women studying architecture.
Although architecture has been a predominantly male profession, little by little there have been pioneering women such as Zaha Hadid and Charlotte Perriand, and the designer Eileen Gray; who have broken those paradigms so that there are fewer differences. “Women and men go to the same university, we study the same, we have the same professional capacity to develop ourselves, women have an additional responsibility… the family, the children, the house and even so we manage well…, but we are organized by nature and we can do everything…I fervently believe that if you can do everything, you have to be organized, have confidence in yourself and be sure that you can do it”.
To close, he shares with the new generations of architects that “It is important to continue educating yourself and be up to date. Make mistakes, because you learn from mistakes. Do not let yourself be discouraged or mistrust yourself because of those you have not received or because you have not won a contest… you have to keep fighting, and you have to keep going… perseverance is important to get where you want to go; You will find obstacles along the way, but having a clear path, everything can be achieved
Click the article image above to read in its original Spanish!
For almost 37 years, I have dedicated my professional career to exploring the role of design in our lives.
I discovered that there is a direct correlation between the quality of the spaces we use to live, work or inhabit with happiness, productivity and human well-being.
My goal as an architect is to help improve the quality of life by improving the quality of spaces. I believe in the power of design to create a better and healthier life from the inside out, from the home and its impact on the city.
With EXD Architecture firm of which I am a partner and founder, we have carried out extensive research on the culture of shared economies and its impact on the design of cities. We believe in creating spaces for overlapping programs that can be used 24 hours a day.
We apply this philosophy equally to residential, commercial and public spaces, regardless of their size. Understanding this change in the design paradigm has allowed us to develop new architectural typologies to maximize space, adding value and well-being for our clients.
During my professional career in Venezuela I have worked with architects such as Hélène de Garay, Celina Bentata at Constructora Sambil and the engineers Lustagarten y Asociados carrying out residential and commercial projects.
In 1994, I moved to New York to do a Master’s in Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University.
I have since resided in New York City where I have worked with architect Alison Spear and my own firm Victoria Benatar Architecture PLLC and currently with EXD Architecture, doing projects for residential clients as well as retail and showrooms for which include Steve Madden, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Annex, among others.
I have been regularly invited to teach and speak on architecture, urban design, and the construction industry at conferences in New York, Caracas, Mexico, and Israel. I have also been a professor of architecture for more than twenty-five years.
From 1995 to 1998, I taught architecture and urban design theory courses at the University of Columbia. From 1995 to the present, I am a Professor of Architecture and Interior Design at Parsons the New School of Design, teaching courses in Digital and Analog Representation, Professional Practice, Interior Architecture and Design Representation, and Sustainable and Healthy Interior Materials.
— Victoria Benatar
Creative, fighter, ambitious and persevering
Architect (UCV, 1983). Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design (Columbia University, 1995).