March 08, 2019

8 Material Women For The 8th

Today, International Women’s Day 2019, we honor a group of amazing women who are making a difference in the health of our built environment. Meet these eight women, who are all actively advancing architecture, design and the building material industry toward a healthier and resource-conscious future. Through their daily work, they are at the forefront of sustainability- working locally and internationally to design and construct better buildings using healthier materials, making strides in circular material applications and processes, establishing transparency in product labeling, setting focus on the undesirable chemicals in construction materials, and working hard to educate all of us. Read more about their exciting achievements in the building industry and find a useful collection of links in this article.

Chelsea Fawn Briganti, Co-Founder and SHeeO of LOLIWARE


An award-winning social innovator and industrial designer, Briganti launched LOLIWARE in 2015 with a seaweed-based edible cup. As the SHeEO of an interdisciplinary team of expert scientists, food technologists, and seaweed biologists, Briganti developed LOLIWARE Edible Tech – a material made from seaweed (a regenerative and carbon sequestering input) that outperforms bioplastics and biodegrades at the same rate as food waste. In 2019, LOLISTRAW, the straw of the future, was launched to replace the 360 billion plastic straws used annually worldwide that contaminate our oceans and harm marine life. The company is venture backed by Closed Loop Ventures, Hatzimemos/Libby, NY State Venture Fund, and Mark Cuban. With LOLIWARE, Briganti and her team are pioneering a plastic-free future with products that are ‘Designed to Disappear’.

Kate Daly, Executive Director, Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners


Kate Daly is Executive Director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, which incubates innovative startups and links entrepreneurs to academia, industry, and government in order to advance the transition from a linear take, make, waste economy to a restorative one in which materials are shared, re-used, and continuously cycled. Prior to joining Closed Loop Partners, Kate served in New York City government for more than a decade, most recently as Senior Vice President at the NYC Economic Development Corporation. At NYCEDC Kate led a team in launching innovative business development programs to foster the growth of entrepreneurship, strengthen New York City’s anchor and emerging industries, and create new jobs. She managed a portfolio across sectors including smart cities, healthcare, cleantech, fashion, tech, media, and advanced manufacturing.

Anna Heringer, Aga Khan Design Critic in Architecture, Harvard School of Design, Architect


As an architect and honorary professor of the UNESCO Chair of Earthen Architecture, Building Cultures, and Sustainable Development, Anna focuses on the use of natural building materials. Her diploma work at the METI School in Rudrapur was completed in 2005 and won the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2007. Over the years, Anna has completed further projects in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Together with Martin Rauch, she developed the method of Clay Storming which she teaches at various universities, including ETH Zurich, UP Madrid, TU Munich. The vision behind, and motivation for her work is to explore and use architecture as a medium to strengthen cultural and individual confidence, to support local economies and to foster the ecological balance. For me, sustainability is a synonym for beauty: a building that is harmonious in its design, structure, technique, and use of materials, as well as with the location, the environment, the user, the socio-cultural context. This, for me, is what defines its sustainable and aesthetic value.

Ginger Krieg Dosier, CEO at bioMASON


Ginger Krieg Dosier is Co-Founder and CEO at bioMASON- a revolutionary organization utilizing biology for growing cement construction materials. She has over 8 years of business experience working with a diverse team of scientists, engineers, architects, builders, investors, granting agencies, and strategic partners. Her background includes sustainable material development from prototype to commercialization.

Prior to founding bioMASON, she served as assistant professor of architecture at the American University of Sharjah, in the UAE and North Carolina State University. Here’s a link to more info on Ginger and BioMason -

Martha Lewis, Head of Materials at Henning Larsen Architect


Martha Lewis’s expertise lies in a comprehensive understanding of architectural materials, with a balanced focus on client values, material health, environmental profile, cost and aesthetic expression. Her keen understanding of tactile aspects of materials combined with her strong communication skills ensure that the integrity of the initial design is maintained from design development through construction.

Martha has extensive international experience designing and executing commercial and cultural buildings and interiors, both in Denmark and abroad. She has practiced in New York, Berlin and Copenhagen, and gained a thorough knowledge of cultural, social and practical building parameters in northern Europe, and the US. Through recent projects and continuing education, she has achieved significant expertise in the selection of healthy and environmentally friendly materials.

Jo Morandin, Co-Owner of Small Planet


A move to Denmark in 2003 from Australia, into a community with hand-built sustainable housing, Friland, Denmark ( secured Jo’s passion and dedication to working with sustainable, healthy materials. Jo Morandin then established Small Planet with her partner Lars Keller. Small Planet is a multi-faceted small business committed to establishing the broad-scale use of sustainable materials in the building sector in Denmark. With the ever-approaching crisis of climate change looming large, Small Planet has chosen to represent the products: EcoCocon compressed straw panels and Saviukumaja clay and lime plasters and paints, due to their ease of use, quality, performance and CO2 benefits .

Bodil Engberg Pallesen. Senior Specialist DTI, AgroTech, Dept. of Bioresources and Biorefinery.


Bodil is Board member and co-founder of Agricultural Development Denmark, and country leader, Cambodia. She is an experienced professional in the fields of innovations and business development, bio-economy and use of bio-resources especially plant fibers specialist. Inventor of nonwoven fiber mats from flax, hemp, seagrass a.o. She has developed many new bio-products and multiple applications e.g. building materials, absorption, composites, and bio-packaging all available at: and

Jonsara Ruth, Co-Founder and Design Director of Healthy Materials Lab


Jonsara Ruth is an agitator for design as a catalyst of healthier futures for every day human experience. She is co-founder and Design Director of Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design where she is Associate Professor and Founding Director of the MFA Interior Design program. As a designer, she led creative and production teams to mass-produce the healthiest children’s furniture available in America, and she creates alluring and durable interiors with reused or biodegradable materials. Material curiosities drive her research.

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