ArchDaily - “Spotlight – Carol Ross Barney”

October 25, 2019
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Advo­cat­ing that excel­lent design is a right, not a priv­i­lege, Carol’s career is marked by her sen­si­tiv­i­ty. Born in Chica­go, Illi­nois on April 12, 1949, her work is char­ac­ter­ized by a desire to bring dig­ni­ty to the needs of users and the pub­lic alike. With a career that spans over 40 years, Car­ol found­ed her firm Ross Bar­ney Archi­tects in 1981. She is known for shap­ing the built envi­ron­ment, the pro­fes­sion, and archi­tec­tur­al edu­ca­tion. As an archi­tect, urban­ist, men­tor, and edu­ca­tor, her work upholds a deep com­mit­ment to peo­ple and place…

Fol­low­ing her ser­vice in the Peace Corps, Car­ol joined Holabird and Root. Short­ly after join­ing, she received an invi­ta­tion from Gertrude Lempp Ker­bis, FAIA: Come and meet oth­er female archi­tects re: Coali­tion – all invit­ed’. The group that con­vened that evening would found Chica­go Women in Archi­tec­ture; an orga­ni­za­tion that has become a lead­ing advo­ca­cy group for women in the profession. 

As a found­ing mem­ber and first pres­i­dent, Car­ol embed­ded a sense of respon­si­bil­i­ty to seek equi­ty. At Holabird and Root, Car­ol met men­tor John A. Holabird, FAIA. With John, Car­ol worked for what he called noble clients’, the ones with impor­tant cul­tur­al or social agen­das but not nec­es­sar­i­ly the most mon­ey or high pro­file projects. The work ranged from the 1979 AIA Insti­tute Hon­or Award win­ning restora­tion of the Chica­go Pub­lic Library and Cul­tur­al Cen­ter to the Oak­brook Vil­lage Hall…

Carol’s process is root­ed in inclu­siv­i­ty. Empow­ered by a sense of respon­si­bil­i­ty, she has cho­sen to fight for the col­lec­tive aspi­ra­tions of soci­ety. This con­fi­dence exists on a sense of own­er­ship; that she too will use the spaces she designs and inter­acts with. What some might con­sid­er every­day spaces, ones that do not need to be designed, have an immea­sur­able impact on qual­i­ty of life. These are the spaces Car­ol cares deeply about. It is this belief that makes her the People’s Architect’.”

Read the full arti­cle at arch​dai​ly​.com.

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