Whiting named one of ‘Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2015’

Rice’s Sarah Whiting has been chosen as one of “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2015” by Houston Woman Magazine. She is the dean of the School of Architecture and the William Ward Watkin Professor of Architecture.

photo of Sarah Whiting, dean of architecture

Sarah Whiting

“Those selected as ‘Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2015’ are individuals with vast networks of social and professional connections,” said Beverly Denver, publisher of Houston Woman Magazine. “They have earned an enviable reputation for their expertise in a particular field or arena. They are knowledgeable, credible and trustworthy. The thoughts and actions of these women influence the thought and actions of others.”

The magazine staff selected the honorees from nominations submitted by subscribers. The 50 women for 2015 were honored at an afternoon tea Jan. 24 at La Colombe d’Or Mansion.

Whiting joined the Rice faculty in January 2010. Under her tenure, the school’s Bachelor of Architecture program has consistently ranked among the nation’s top five and the Master of Architecture program has ranked among the top 10. The school’s mission is to promote architecture as a cultural practice by preparing its graduates to think, negotiate and collaborate. The school places particular emphasis on cultivating individual research, initiative and acumen to prepare graduates to become leaders in the field.

Whiting’s interests are interdisciplinary, with the built environment at their core. In its write-up about Whiting, Houston Woman Magazine noted that Whiting “possesses an indefatigable curiosity about how individuals constitute a public and through what forms (architecture and urbanism) that public manifests itself and is, in turn, formed. In her teaching, her writing and her practice, Whiting focuses on architecture’s public audience and how architecture can engage that collective subject.”

She received her B.A. from Yale, where she combined architecture and urban studies with history and philosophy as an independent major. Whiting has a Master of Architecture degree from Princeton. After two years practicing with Rem Koolhaas in the Netherlands, she obtained her Ph.D. in architectural history, theory and criticism from MIT.

Whiting’s writing has been published in numerous magazines and books, ranging from ANY to Wired. She serves on the editorial boards of Log and the DOCOMOMO Journal and edits a Princeton University Press book series called “POINT.” She has served as an adviser for the architecture selection of the Menil Drawing Institute, the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize and the Mickey Leland Terminal at Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Whiting is a partner of WW Architecture, a practice that she co-founded with her partner, Ron Witte, in 1999. Among the firm’s projects are the Lavenda-Escobar House in Houston, the renovation of the National Historical Museum of Albania, the master plan for St. Stephens Church and School in Houston, the Kaihui Business Center in Changsha, China, and the Golden House in Princeton, N.J.

The complete list of “Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women of 2015” will be posted this week at www.houstonwomanmagazine.com.

About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.