1. Eileen Gray


Eileen Gray, an Irish architect and furniture designer, is known as a pioneer of the Modern Movement of architecture. Her innovative approach not only reshaped architectural norms but also revolutionised furniture design, notably with her iconic E-1027 table. Gray’s versatile creativity extended beyond architecture; she also experimented with lacquer work, contributing significantly to the Art Deco movement. Notably, her Villa E-1027, a masterpiece of modernist architecture, remains an enduring symbol of her design philosophy.

2. Charlotte Perriand


Renowned for her avant-garde designs, Charlotte Perriand remains one of the most influential female architects and designers of the 20th century. Collaborating with architectural giants like Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, known as Le Corbusier, Perriand pioneered the integration of industrial materials into furniture design. Perriand’s immersion in Japanese aesthetics, following a transformative journey to Japan, also greatly influenced her work.

3. Norma Merrick Sklarek


Norma Merrick Sklarek paved the way for future generations, breaking down barriers and overcoming discrimination, to become the first Black woman certified by the American Institute of Architects, in 1954. Sklarek’s architectural leadership, showcased in projects like the Pacific Design Center (below), underscores her resilience and visionary spirit. Her enduring impact as a leader in her field continues to inspire aspiring architects from underrepresented backgrounds.

4. Zaha Hadid



Zaha Hadid, the first woman to receive the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, revolutionised the architectural landscape with her bold and innovative designs. From the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan (below) to the London Aquatics Centre, Hadid’s creations defy convention and redefine architectural possibilities. Hadid’s visionary contributions to architecture transcend boundaries, inspiring architects and designers globally. Her indomitable spirit and groundbreaking designs solidify her legacy as a trailblazer in contemporary architecture.

5. Jeanne Gang

Jeanne Gang is an American architect renowned for her innovative responses to environmental sustainability, representing a new frontier in architectural design. Through her firm Studio Gang, she pioneers sustainable design techniques, advocating for the use of recycled materials and biodiversity conservation. Gang’s visionary approach, seen in projects like the Aqua Tower (below), demonstrates her commitment to creating architecture that is in harmony with nature. Her leadership in sustainable design positions her as a beacon of inspiration for future generations of architects tackling pressing environmental challenges.