Rahdia Khatieb Parker, architect and co-founding director of Archi.CapeTown, who won the lifetime achievement award in the Women in Concrete and Construction section, says her career fascination stems from her interest in science and art where architecture is a balance of both.
“I am a logical and creative thinker which are both necessary tools for architectural rational. I believe I was born to follow this career path, it is a career that demands a full command of one’s life both in business and personal [capacities],” she says.
“I am involved in projects from conception to delivery. I am fascinated by complexities between urban design and architecture. I develop feasibility studies that align design to infrastructure as this impacts city development and elevates human interaction positively. I am an advocate for those who can’t represent their spatial rights and am currently involved in affordable housing, pharmacy health care for, in particular, ARV patients, I have also taken on board exciting projects that include museum design and development.
“I have partnered with Pilisio Building Peace and Pilosio award winner Dr Hawa Abdi [Foundation], for the first community project in Somalia since the last civil war by providing alternate and innovative housing solutions. We have also participated in building schools in Jordan for refugees.
Don’t give up
Her advice for young people wanting to enter the industry, “Have stamina, don’t give up. Studying architecture will test your ability to take criticism, you will need to tolerate criticism and be able to hold debates about your own personal thoughts of design. It will test your self-esteem daily. Don’t be threatened by the scale of this career. It will take you six years to complete the necessary under and postgraduate degree. This academic platform is not the completion of your learning, it is only a base. Choose your places of work on the merits of experiences and not money. Don’t be afraid to be non-conformist. It will liberate you.
“I am thrilled that all the risks I have taken in my decision making while building this career have paid off. I give everything I do my 100%. This award has allowed me to stand still for a moment and take a deep breath of fulfilment. Because I am constantly, running, chasing, and building my career, it’s good to sometimes stop and recollect your goals and take time to enjoy your efforts and see them as awards.
“My career is fuelled by an instinctive desire to succeed. I am constantly in stealth mode and it’s very humbling to know that a lifetime achievement award is an affirmation of doing good. I am extremely grateful for the recognition and the platform of representation of these awards, it is indeed an endearing reflection of quality in the industry and their great minds,” adds Khatieb Parker.
Compiled by Cherry Ellis