Female Powerhouses: 3 Role Models

5 out of 5 stars

power women

These three women, none of whom I know personally, have long inspired me with their intelligence, independence and vision. One other thing they all share is “presence” (or gravitas, which I’ve written about before)  – these three have it in droves. They’re just awesome women.

Read on below for more on my 3 heroes: Christine Lagarde, Liz Diller and Martha Cooper.

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund

She operates in a stratosphere few of us could even imagine. She’s also the first woman to hold the IMF post and it looks like she will be renominated for a second 5 year term.

She has all the traits that I admire: brilliant, no-nonsense, confident – with a great dose of charm and chic!

I also love the fact that she’s equally at home being interviewed for the WSJ as she is for the pages of Vogue.

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde leaves a news conference at the IMF in Washington, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde leaves a news conference at the IMF in Washington, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)



Liz Diller, Designer, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro

Liz Diller is a total maverick. I’m especially partial to the way she thinks and contextualizes her ideas (please check out her TED talks). She has been involved with pretty much every culturally significant project that I love including the High Line in NYC, the master plan for Governors Island, and the gallery and visitor experience for Cooper Hewitt’ recent major redesign.

What makes her firm so extraordinary is how they integrate architecture, visual arts and the performing arts. It is the first architecture firm to get a MacArthur “genius” grant. At the time, the MacArthur Foundation stated: Their work explores how space functions in our culture and illustrates that architecture, when understood as the physical manifestation of social relationships, is everywhere, not just in buildings.

Other key projects include: the Blur Building in Switzerland which is intentionally shrouded in artificial fog, Lincoln Center’s renovation, ICA Boston, CultureSHED at the new Hudson Yards, the Broad Museum in LA – and dozens more globally!

There are many terrific articles on Liz but this one from Surface Magazine is particularly insightful on her earliest aha moments.

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Blur Building


Martha Cooper, Street Art Documentarian and Photojournalist

Martha Cooper came on my radar thru my friend, Ryan Humphrey. Over the last four decades she has documented the rise of street art from an underground subculture to a globally recognized art form.

She has an amazing instagram account – 129K followers and has been documenting the graffiti, street art and hip hop scenes since the 1970’s!! She travels the world scouting the newest developments in street art. For her 70th birthday (!!!), multiple graffiti artists painted a tribute to her on the Bowery Wall at Houston Street which was a really big deal and speaks volumes about her street cred and how much she is respected and embraced by that community.

She is soon to release the 3rd edition of her seminal book on street art called Subway Art. First published in 1984, it became known as the Bible of street art.

Martha Cooper, I’ve never met you, but I would say you lead my dream life.


BSA loves Martha Cooper.


Davide (Nosm) greets Martha







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