Prior to establishing WHAT_architecture, I had the privilege to work for three renown practices whose founding partners were: women. Louisa Hutton (Sauerbruch Hutton), Alison Brooks (Alison Brooks Architects) and Francine Houbine (Mecanoo). Being Maori in London, perhaps I am naturally susceptible to a legacy of women who ‘operate’ at a level beyond, or below, politics and power, and whose organisational creativity is based on something more urgent: the familial. Here I think of: Esther Jessop who established Ngati Ranana. It takes a strong man to stand by a strong woman.