4x4=16 | Brazil / Pertenencia & Pertinencia

Join AIA|DC's Design Excellence Committee for a film screening and panel discussion highlighting the profound contributions of South American women architects in the world of creativity, design, and diversity.

This program is part of a 4-part series showcasing 4 countries: Argentina, Peru, Chile and Brazil. Each session will include 4 panelists from the represented country that will share their work.

The series explore representation of diverse typologies of unseen architecture in South American countries all seen from the eyes of local women architects.

This 4x4 = 16 Brazil showcases the work of architects Gloria Cabral, Marta Moreira, Mariana Simas, and Cláudia Sales de Alcântara.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify emerging man-made materials and experimentation techniques that can be a conduct to allow social experiences and collaboration in low-income societies.
  • Discover the design of public sector service architecture related to cultural, educational and academic buildings in the megalopolis of Sao Paulo.
  • Discuss topics about equity and inclusion in the north of Brazil that include themes such as Collective Black Land, Discourse and Territory and Transatlantic Cities and Racial Thought.
  • Illustrate the approach to rethink and give continuity to the iconic Brazilian Modern Architecture movement.

Presented by:

Francesca Franchi, AIA - Presenter

Cristiana Mascarenhas - Moderator   


photo of gloria cabral

Gloria Cabral

Arquiteta Gloria Cabral believes that architecture is her tool for making the necessary transformations in our society. Cabral was a partner of Gabinete de Arquitectura in Paraguay, from 2004 to 2020. She participated in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé program as a mentee of Peter Zumthor, during 2014 and 2015.

Among the many international recognitions that Cabral has received together with her partners are: the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale of Architecture, for Best Participation in the International Exhibition; the Architects 2018 Moira Gemmill Award for Emerging Women in Architecture; and the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2021.

She studied architecture at the University of Asunción where she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate, in 2020.


photo of marta moreira

Marta Moreira

Arquiteta Marta Moriera founded MMBB Arquitetos in 1991 together with Fernando Franco and Milton Braga; later Maria João joined the team. The office focuses on the development of public and institutional projects in the areas of building, infrastructure and urban planning.

MMBB has won several distinctions and awards, such as the Archdaily Building of the Year 2023; the Brazilian Pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai; the First Prize of the International Urban Project Award – IUPA 2020 and the Special Prize at the XI BIAU 2019, both with the SESC 24 de Maio building, in collaboration with Paulo Mendes da Rocha; the Prize at the IX BIAU 2014 with the Jardim Edite social housing complex; and the Best Entry with prize the Watery Voids proposal in the 3rd International Architecture Biennale of Rotterdam 2007.

She has been a professor of design at Escola da Cidade since 2001 and a member of the Association’s Presidency since 2019.

Moreira received her title from the School of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo (FAU/USP) in 1987.


photo of mariana simas

Mariana Simas

Arquiteta Mariana Simas is a partner and the executive director at Studio MK27.

Her interests in the global architectural dialogue led her to head the communications efforts at MK27. She has had the opportunity to present and discuss the studio´s body of work on several institutions such as at the Archipel, Belgian Institute of Architects; Universidad Politecnica de Valencia; South Florida University and the Royal Academy of Arts, in London.

Simas is focused on developing masterplans and conceptual designs for competitions and pro-bono projects such as Catarina town, a planned sustainable city in the outskirts of São Paulo; a Pavilion in Chapultepec, City of Mexico; and the Occupation of the former Ford Factory in São Paulo, a housing project requested by the municipality for the unsheltered people.

Globally, she has designed projects such as the island for Patina hotel in the Maldives; an urban community in Madrid; and the Brazilian Pavilion for Expo Osaka 2025.

Sima believes that the purpose of her work is to create a healthy business model to allow for the intellectual research of architecture to thrive.

She studied at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo where she acted as treasurer of the student’s union, created a cooperative of employees that took over the school´s canteen, and generated a financial fund for the student´s activities that lasted for the years to come.


Photo of Cláudia Sales de Alcântara

Cláudia Sales de Alcântara

Cláudia Sales de Alcântara is an architect and pedagogue, with a master's and a PhD degree in Brazilian Education. She has been working as a professor of architecture and urbanism since 2013.

Sales de Alcântara served as Federal Councilor for the state of Ceará between 2021-2023. She was the coordinator of the Temporary Commission on Race, Equity and Diversity - CTRED at the Council of Architecture and Urbanism of Brazil - CAU/BR, between 2021-2022. During 2021-2023 she acted as assistant coordinator of the Ordinary Commission for Education and Training – CEF; and assistant coordinator of the Temporary Commission on Affirmative Policies - CTPAF (2022-2023).
During her time at CAU/BR, she focused her work on developing the quality of teaching in architecture and urbanism; the implementation of policies to combat ethnic-racial discrimination in the profession; and promoting actions to enable the participation of minorities in the political process of the Council.

Sales de Alcântara teaches architecture and urbanism at the University of Unichristus, Fortaleza.

Organized by:

AIA|DC Design Excellence Committee

Thank You to Our Sponsors:



Ares Management


Mikela McMahon





-Avalon Bay Communities

-Cunningham / Quill Architects PLLC

-David Haresign, FAIA

-Francesca Franchi, AIA

-Frederick & Cederna Architects

-Gerald Briggs, FAIA and Randy Briggs



-Mariela Buendia-Corrochano, IIDA, Assoc. AIA


-shalom baranes associates architects




-William Hodges Hendrix, AIA

-Winstanley Architects & Planners



-Brazilian Embassy of Washington, DC