Inspiring Women in Communications: Kristen Richards, Hon. AIA, Hon. ASLA
As Women’s History Month draws to a close, we’re wrapping up our March feature series, highlighting female professionals in the communications field. For our final installment of “Inspiring Women in Communications,” we’re pleased to feature Kristen Richards.
Kristen is co-founder and editor-in-chief of the international webzine and daily newsletter, ArchNewsNow.com. She is also editor-in-chief of the AIA New York Chapter’s quarterly publication, Oculus. Kristen has been involved in the A/E/C industry for many years as a journalist and photographer, including a 10-year tenure as news editor/feature writer for Interiors magazine.
What drew you to the field of communications?
As a field, it was more like I was thrown into rather than drawn to communications. I was a founding member of an Off-Off Broadway theater (Impossible Ragtime Theatre) back in the mid-70s, and somebody had to take on promoting it to audiences and critics (and sponsors and donors). Tag — I was it. Turned out I was pretty good at it — or so I’ve been told.
What did you think you would be when you “grew up” — and are you doing that now?
I wanted to grow up to be a director, an actor, and a writer. I’ve been/done all three. (I gave up wanting to be a baseball player early on.) Now, being at the helm of two publications is a bit like getting to be all three at once!
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Having the opportunity to meet — and work with — some of the brightest and most creative and inspiring minds in the galaxy.
As a communications professional, what do you feel is your most important responsibility?
To be open to everyone and everything. One never knows when, where, or how a gem of a person, project, or idea might show up.
How have you seen women evolve in your profession since you started?
That’s difficult to answer. Women were prominent in the design press and communications when I started at Interiors magazine many, many years ago. I think they still are. If there’s been an evolution, I’d say it’s the growing number of — and respect for — female critical voices, especially in architecture and urban design.
Was there a woman who mentored you or inspired you with her success?
My mother most of all. And so many others too numerous to name…I’ve been so very lucky in that regard.
What career advice would you give to other women working in communications?