Deborah Berke's Architecture and Home Design Inspiration
Architect Deborah Berke—winner of the new Berkeley-Rupp Prize, celebrating the advancement of women in architecture—shares the everyday objects that inspire her most.
By Tim McKeough
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the March 2013 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Q: How would you describe the buildings you design?
DB: My work is very simple and spare. I'm not a religious person, but I was raised as a Congregationalist—think the clean white churches in New England with no stained glass. The clarity and simplicity of those spaces impacted me deeply.
Q: You design both public buildings and private residences. What do you like about designing houses?
DB: I like how, at the end of the day, everybody does the same things at home: You eat, you sleep, you take pleasure in solitary and social pursuits. Yet when I'm making a house, those universal things manifest so differently.
Q: So few working architects are female. Do you see that as a hurdle?
DB: Like any woman in any male-dominated profession, you get used to being the only woman in the room a lot of the time. But being used to it doesn't mean I don't want it to change.