Celebrating the Power of Women

Women’s History Month is an annual celebration of the many contributions that women — past and present — have made in our communities around the world. In celebration, we are recognizing two of countless women at Corgan who are leading and shaping industries. Join us in commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women across the globe.

 

Tania Madah, Commercial Studio


I was born in a small city in northern Iran called Rasht. My family has always been supportive of my dreams, including immigrating to the United States. After attending the gifted and talented program in high school, I continued my education, earning a bachelor’s degree in food science and technology. I was offered my first job after winning an award in a problem-solving competition, but after a few months of working, I realized I was not getting the internal satisfaction and happiness that I desired for my work.

Subsequently, I decided to leave my job and my country to fulfill my dreams. I was the first from my family to pursue higher education and to leave Iran. After moving to Dubai to pursue an MBA, I discovered my passion for architecture. I then relocated to Toronto to pursue an architectural technician degree and three years later, I landed in Arlington, Texas, working toward my master’s in architecture and agile project management.

My journey with Corgan started when I won the CSI design competition and met Mary Hart, a principal at the firm. She offered me a position at Corgan, which I immediately accepted, and from that moment, I felt like I belonged to the Corgan family and was excited to be a part of its progressive movement. Upon starting my work, I noticed that some projects and business development efforts were not receiving the renderings they deserved due to a lower budget. Since I always try to keep up with the latest advancements in technology, I realized that Lumion could help solve this problem. This technology was then incorporated throughout the firm, and as a result, all projects with any budget are able to receive proper renderings in a timely manner.

As the firm began to emphasize and elevate design, I began to brainstorm ways to increase efficiency by using technologies that would automate tasks and increase time for innovation and enhancing designs. Partnering with Lindsay Wilson, President and Interiors Sector Leader, I began writing scripts that significantly shortened the duration of specific tasks. This was the start of a renewed focus on efficiency, which led me to analyze daily processes within my studio, identify tasks that could be automated, and develop multiple scripts such as TestFit, BOMA, and A.R.C. From the support that I received from Corgan in addition to tremendous effort from our computational design advocates, we are expanding this process throughout the firm with the goal of pioneering the connection between architecture and cutting-edge technologies.

Not being fulfilled or happy with the environment at my first job taught me to not take these opportunities for granted. The opportunities for women in Iran pale in comparison to the U.S. — Iranian women can only dare to dream or leave their country alone. Now I am motivated because I have achieved my dreams in the past, so I know that I can achieve the dreams I have today in the future. Two well-intentioned and powerful women played an important role in my career at Corgan — Mary Hart, who offered a job to me, and Lindsay Wilson, who supported my work in automation and scripting. I look forward to supporting women taking on this path in the future, and it is my hope that women in architecture aspire to achieve excellence, continue to give back, and support one another. Each day I remind myself of the impact of our work and am driven by a deep passion to make a difference and leave this world better than I found it.

Connect with Tania at tania.madah@corgan.com.

 

Linda Joseph, MediaLab


From a very young age I was always creating something, but I didn’t think about pursuing a career in design until the sixth grade when my art teacher told us what a commercial artist does. To follow my dream, I enrolled at the University of North Texas to study Communication Design in their School of Visual Arts (now known as the College of Visual Art and Design). During my last semester of school, I got an internship at Fossil and was hired as a full-time employee immediately after graduation, working with them for more than 15 years before deciding it was time for a change of scenery and making the switch to Corgan.

When I joined Corgan five years ago, I had a bit of imposter syndrome. I had art direction experience but not with the types of projects the MediaLab worked on. I quickly shifted that insecurity into curiosity. The creativity and innovation within the firm is both impressive and inspiring! I love helping our talented Corganites tell stories that show off our talent, the passion we have for our clients, and our perspective on the future. Regardless of whether the goal is to educate, inspire, or entertain — visual storytelling is a powerful tool, and it’s wonderful to be in an environment that understands its value.

In addition to visual storytelling, I am also passionate about finding ways to support traditionally marginalized and excluded persons in design through the AIGA, the professional association for design. I began volunteering with the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter approximately four years ago when I discovered that the organization had a Diversity and Inclusion initiative. For a variety of reasons, I had often struggled figuring out my career path as a South Asian woman and didn’t want anyone who has the passion and talent to succeed in this field to go through what I did. I was also concerned about what was happening in our country at the time and knew that design has the power to make change. Right now, I am trying to make the most impact with the next generation of designers by organizing or participating in opportunities for mentorship and portfolio reviews.

The reality though is that there are people at every stage of their career who could use support. I recently heard that only 11% of women are Creative Directors, and the latest AIGA Design Census showed that the field is a little over 70% white. I know the challenges in my field are not unique, as I see a lot of similarities between graphic design, architecture, and interior design. I encourage all of you to look within and beyond your network to see if there are ways you can invest a little bit of time, talent, or treasure to support others and encourage more diversity in your field’s education, discourse, and practice.

We all want a place where we belong, a place where we matter. The more we can encourage and support each other, the better. I am proud of the work Corgan is doing in this area and am excited to see the impact that we all can make!

Connect with Linda at linda.joseph@corgan.com or on LinkedIn.
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