Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Natalie de Blois: To Tell the Truth

In the second episode of New Angle: Voice, we profile Natalie de Blois (1921–2013). De Blois co-designed some of the most iconic modernist works for corporate America, all while raising four children. After leaving a significant mark on postwar Park Avenue, she transferred to SOM’s Chicago office, where she became actively involved in the feminist movement in architecture in the 1970s. Later, she finished her career as a professor at UT Austin, where she trained a future generation of architects.

As an architect, Natalie loved systems – understanding how things worked. For her, it wasn’t just about designing pretty buildings, she challenged the code and questioned the status quo.

Voices in this episode include Gabrielle Esperdy, Audrey Matlock, Carol Krinsky, Carol Ross Barney, Margaret McCurry, Peter Dixon, John Newman, Liz Watykus, Julia Murphy and Robert de Blois. Archival audio of de Blois, interviewed by Betty Blum, is from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architects Oral History Project.

This podcast is produced by Brandi Howell, with Alexandra Lange as editorial advisor. Special thanks to Matt Alvarez and Iowa Public Radio for their production assistance. New Angle: Voice is brought to you by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, with support from Miller Knoll and SOM.