LIXIL Africa – Women in Architecture

LIXIL Africa – Women in Architecture

This Women’s Month we turn our focus to a Jasmina Telic from Paledi Incorporated Architects in Botswana, an empowered and driven female architect who is forging her own path in this male-dominated industry.  

There is no doubt that the field of architecture is male-dominated with almost 78% of architects in the United States being male, leaving the female footprint in the industry far smaller. While there are no solid statistics of the gap in Africa as a whole, South Africa has a minimal 21% female architects.

These statistics make female architects such as Jasmina Telic a rare asset, especially for the African continent.  

About Jasmina Telic

Jasmina studied at the Faculty of Architecture at University of Belgrade and accomplished a Bsc and Masters in Architecture.  She has always been passionate about visualising and manifesting big projects and chose a career path in architecture because the profession “combines artistic expressions with technical solutions”, she says.  

When asked about the highlights of her career to date, Jasmina mentions that working with specialists in other fields and incorporating their input into overall design has been an important element for her.  She has also appreciated with working in line with GBCSA guidelines in designing energy-efficient buildings and learning about various functions and considerations for each facility depending on its intended use.  High security projects is another highlight of her career.

She has also enjoyed working with architectural students and mentoring them along their journey in studies as well as working on pro-bono projects in communities, Women’s Shelters and BSPCA.  

Women in Architecture

Jasmina believes that women in architecture assemble teams of engineers, who are mostly male, to collaborate without confrontation and rather mutual communication and teamwork.  She claims that typical male-leadership is a leader-focused approach whereas female-leadership focuses more on collaboration, where project members feel more comfortable to express their unique ideas and contribute towards the design as a team.  

In terms of major challenges faced during Jasmina’s career, she says that because she has always been involved in large-scale projects the challenges were mostly building-services related where incorporating these, without compromising the overall design and finer details of the project were not compromised upon.  

Jasmina believes that having an expert team on board is the only way to deliver a successful project.  “Every member of the team must work towards the benefit of the project first”, Jasmina claims.  

When asked what advice Jasmina would give to other women interested in studying architecture, she says “to develop their unique vision and not be bogged down by the existing models of design, management and collaboration”. 

We asked Jasmina what she believes the future bathrooms and kitchens in the commercial space look like?

Jasmina says that the evolving trends for bathrooms in the commercial spaces is a move towards touchless options such as touchless taps, touchless toilet flushing systems and more systems where cross-contamination and the spreading of germs is limited.  A trend that was propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to grow in popularity.  

Even though we have experienced teething problems with battery packs and maintenance for power pack options here in Botswana because we don’t have the skilled labour to tackle these problems locally”, she says.   

She also says that they are seeing an increase in concealed toilet cisterns and an overall minimalistic and sleek commercial bathroom design. Reduced maintenance requirements are also another growing trend for design in these bathrooms.  

Low maintenance and user-friendly products are a top choice when selecting bathroom and kitchen products in the commercial space, Jasmina claims.  

While Jasmina would like to see a movement towards copper alloy finishes due to their natural anti-bacterial surface benefits, she believes that we will be seeing a ‘come back’ of black and white colours in the bathroom and kitchen spaces.  

Jasmina believes that the future bathroom is internet of things (IoT) integrated.  Sanitary accessories such as mirrors integrated with screens, taps with water temperature adjustments made via smartphone integration, news and live-streaming capabilities in lobby areas and perhaps, even in public toilet cubicles.  That is the future bathroom for Jasmina. 

Jasmina has been involved in many successful project, recently to mention – The Bank of Botswana Head Quarters, Gaborone

An exciting project that Jasmina worked on in Botswana whilst making use of Cobra, Vaal and GROHE products, was a new construction project for one of Botswana’s largest financial institutions.  

The R950 000 project was carried out over 3 years and included 10 000m2 comprising of 6 buildings, each with 4 floors per building.  The client specified that they wanted to use Cobra and Vaal products as their standard range with GROHE taps and mixers to be used in the public restrooms due to their water-efficiency capabilities.  

Key architect partners for this project included Paledi Incorporated Cgartered Architects, JV Co-arch International, Mmile Mhutsiwa and Associates, Stefanutti & Stocks and Plumbot.

When asked how Jasmina found her experience working with LIXIL Africa, she replied, “always highly professional and resourceful”.  

Jasmina lives by the motto “live by my words”, and we at LIXIL Africa believe that the industry needs more women like Jasmina and we support the empowerment of women to forge their own careers within this field and all fields.