Photo courtesy of Ali Forney Center

Kavitha Mathew
AIA, NOMA, LEED AP

 

The founder and president of Equity Co:LAB, Kavitha partners with organizations to research, identify and implement strategies that will foster a more equitable and diverse workplace. She has a wide range of experience both as an architect and advocate for equity in the profession. With over twenty years of experience in the field, she was previously Director of Corporate Architectural Services for Ralph Lauren and has also worked as project architect/ manager/ director at firms including Ted Moudis Associates, Spacesmith, and KPF, as well as her own practice. Kavitha currently works with the local chapter of the largest national professional organization for architects on several programs. This varied background allows her to view the practice from different perspectives, as a practicing architect, as a consultant, as a client, and as someone hearing directly from architects and design professionals about the change they would like to see in the workplace and the profession.

As Special Projects Director of the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY), Kavitha has overseen programs intended to provide opportunities for members to move beyond their daily work lives to interface with diverse communities, engage in the civic realm, and connect with students who may not be familiar with architecture as a career. Some of these include the award-winning annual Day of Service, the Civic Leadership Program, and Discover Architecture high school program. In addition, she liaises with chapter leadership and local officials on advocacy efforts involving issues related to design professionals and the built environment. This position was created for her after she approached the organization and expressed concern with the lack of equity and representation in the profession. She sought to implement programs that went beyond the traditional focus of professional organizations to elevate the social conscience and expand the mission of architects.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia as well as a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University. Currently serving as a committee chair on her local community board, CB6, she strives to understand and fulfill the needs of residents and enhance their quality of life. Kavitha lives in Manhattan with her husband, daughter, and dog.