Can Architecture Make Abortion Clinics Safer?

A sign delineates the buffer zone outside of a Planned Parenthood in Burlington, Vermont. Image © afagen via Flickr

Unable to afford architectural services, many abortion clinics in the US constantly struggle to create a buffer between themselves and the often radical anti-abortion protesters outside their walls (indeed, physical barriers – such as sprinkler systems – are often the only things that make clinic workers and their patients feel safe). To learn more about how architecture can help protect them, head over to Fast CoDesign for their fascinating article.

AJ100 Reports Rise in Number of Female Architects

© Robert Venturi

The AJ100, the annual survey of the UK‘s 100 largest architecture firms by the Architect’s Journal, has shown a noticeable rise in the number of women in the top practices over the past year. The proportion of women in the surveyed practices rose from 25% in 2013 to 28% this year, with an even more marked increase in the top 10 firms: from 22.7% to 27.5%. Though there is still a significant discrepancy in the ratio of men to women, this marked increase is a positive step. Find out more about which practices are leading the way, and what methods they are using to encourage gender diversity at the Architects’ Journal.

Parlour Fights Gender Inequality in Architecture with Comprehensive Guidelines

Courtesy of

As the fastidious debate about why women leave the architecture profession rages on, Parlour has proactively released a set of guides – which they have been working on since 2011 – “to promote more equitable working conditions within the industry.” 

In Australia, architecture graduates are split equally between the genders, but only 20% of registered architects are female – a statistic which resonates in other countries. In the United states, for example, women make up over 40% of architecture students, but only 23% of the profession. This disparity has proven difficult to explain because all too often women and men are lumped into uniform categories, all with the same wants and needs. Fortunately, Parlour’s research team took a more comprehensive approach to the creation of their guides, understanding that “there is no one reason for women’s significant under representation in architecture and no one solution.” Each of the guides explained, after the break.

A History of Women in Architecture

Julia Morgan, FAIA (1872-1957)

In this article published by the National Women’s History Museum, Despina Stratigakos delivers a fresh perspective on the current phenomenon of women leaving the architecture profession. Starting with Architect Barbie and jumping back to the likes of Julia Morgan, the successes and struggles of pioneering female architects are chronicled, offering women pursuing architecture careers today a firm understanding of their roots. Read the article here.

AD Editorial Round Up: Women in Architecture

There are few topics that stir up more controversy on ArchDaily than that of women in architecture. From those of you who vociferously advocate for women in the field to those who steadfastly purport that gender has no place in architecture at all, you, our readers, represent a wide spectrum of viewpoints and opinions on the subject.

And so, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve decided to take a look back at some of our past comment-stirring articles (even more after the break):

AD Round Up: Women Architects Part II

Paramount Alma / Plasma Studio. Image © Hertha Hurnaus

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve once again rounded up some stunning architecture designed by female architects (In case you missed Part 1, featuring work by Zaha Hadid, Jeanne Gang, and more, click here).

This time around, we’re featuring Paramount Alma, an unusual renovation featuring a stunning timber skin, by Plasma Studio- an avant-garde studio in which two of the four partners (Eva Castro and Ulla Hell) are female; Lullaby Factory, a playful intervention for a Children’s Hospital designed by Studio Weave, co-directed by Maria Smith; from Ábaton Arquitectura, co-directed by Camino Alonso, Portable House, a 27 square meter home for two that can be assembled in only one day; from C+S Architects (co-founded by Maria Alessandra Segantini), the award-winning Law Court Offices in Venice, a building with a simple & yet powerful archetypical shape; and by Piuarch, the Italian studio co-founded by Monica Tricario, Bentini Headquarters, whose distinctive street-side façade features rectangular components of varying dimensions. Enjoy!

Why Was Patty Hopkins Photoshopped Out of This Image?

Architect’s Journal has reported on an embarrassing – and controversial – fumble from the BBC. Not only has the media outlet been criticized for “largely ignoring women architects in its series The Brits Who Built the Modern World,” but it’s now come under fire for an image (appearing at the beginning of episode 3) in which Patty Hopkins is photoshopped out of a group that includes her husband Michael Hopkins, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Nicholas Grimshaw, and Terry Farrell.

The six architects are featured in RIBA’s tie-in-exhibition; however, as the series chose to focus on the five male architects, the photographer removed Ms. Hopkins from the shot (unbeknownst to the BBC).

Lucy Mori of KL Mori Business Consulting for Architects told Architect’s Journal: ‘I am shocked that women’s contribution to architecture has again been “airbrushed” from this populist programme.”

Take the ‘Equity in Architecture Survey 2014′

Courtesy of Shutterstock.com

The Missing 32% Project has a mission: to understand why in the US women represent about 50% of students enrolled in architecture programs, but fewer than 18% of licensed architects (and fewer in leadership roles). If you too are curious about this unusual discrepancy, you can help find an answer by participating in the Equity in Architecture Survey. The Missing 32% Project (along with San Francisco) will use the results to determine best practices for attracting, promoting, and retaining talent in architecture.For more information about the project and to take the survey, go to http://themissing32percent.com/.

Image of pie chart via shutterstock.com

“Why Do Women Really Leave Architecture” Is the Wrong Question

Birmingham Library / Mecanoo. Mecanoo’s Francine Houben was named Architect Journal’s Woman Architect of the Year. Image © Christian Richters

, shortlisted for The Architect’s Journal’s Emerging Woman Architect of the Year, has just published an article in The Architectural Review titled “Why do Women Really Leave Architecture?” – an article that, like many over the last year, attempts to tackle the tricky question of why women (who make up over 40% of architecture students in the US but only 23% of the profession) leave architectureFor the first few paragraphs, I was nodding in agreement, eagerly reading something that - finally - promised to offer a different perspective on the “women in architecture” question.

Unfortunately, a few paragraphs later, all that promise falls terribly flat. Smith spends a good amount of time setting up a fabulous argument, and then – disappointingly – falls into the very traps she was hoping to break wide open. By the article’s conclusion, I was less satisfied than when I started, wondering: is this even the right question we should be asking?

Women to Watch in 2014

In response to the AJ’s third Women in Architecture Survey, the Guardian has presented this list of 10 influential and emerging female architects to keep an eye out for in 2014. While some entries, such as Zaha Hadid,Amanda Levete and Alison Brooks may be no surprise, the list also features some lesser-known names, like Nathalie Rozencwajg of Rare and Hannah Lawson of John McAslan + Partners, who promise to rise to greater prominence. You can see the full list here.

Louis Vuitton Builds Charlotte Perriand’s 1934 Miami Beach House

©

La Maison au Bord de L’Eau, an unrealized beach house in Miami designed by architect, designer, planner and photographer , has been built by Louis Vuitton for a Design Miami 2013 satellite exhibition. Designed in 1934, the house was first conceived for a design contest held by L’architecture d’aujourd’hui magazine with the aim of creating a simple, economical form of holiday lodging for the mass market. After winning second prize it was never built but, eight decades later, “Perriand’s studies prove quite contemporary in light of the advancements in wooden architecture.”

AJ’s Women in Architecture Survey Reveals Discrimination and a Pronounced Pay Gap

Denise Scott-Brown in Las Vegas. Image © Frank Hanswijk

Following a year of high-profile debates surrounding , the results from the Architects’ Journal (AJ) third annual survey entitled Women in Architecture has been revealed. According to the AJ, “two thirds of women in architecture have suffered sexual discrimination at work, an eight point increase since the survey began in 2011″, and “88% of women respondents believe that having children puts women at a disadvantage in architecture.” Even though women in architecture believe that they are paid equally to men, they can in fact “earn as much as £10,000 ($16,500) less than their male counterparts.” More, after the break.

AJ Releases Shortlist for 2014 Woman Architect of the Year

Library of Birmingham / Mecanoo. Image © Christian Richters

Architects’ Journal has just released the shortlist for their  Awards, which aim to “raise the profile of women architects in a sector where women still face an alarming degree of discrimination.”

Christine Murray, Editor of Architects’ Journal, commented: “I’m delighted to announce this year’s shortlist, which includes the women behind the celebrated Library of Birmingham, the new Stonehenge development and the Giant’s Causeway visitor centre. The awards celebrate design excellence and leadership — qualities needed to succeed as an architect — and especially among women, who are under-represented in the construction industry.” See the list, after the break.

The Indicator: Why 2013 was Denise Scott Brown’s Year

Courtesy of Plataforma Arquitectura

A lot of things happened in 2013. Zaha was in the news about every other week. She was copied in China and then accused of designing a giant vagina in Qatar. Rem’s son is producing a documentary about his dad. We lost Prentice Women’s Hospital. We almost lost the American Folk Art Museum. There were a lot of stellar exhibitions and one that took things On the Road. It was the year of high-rise after high-rise, with Rem changing the game yet again by lifting the podium off the ground and sticking to his formal guns, refusing to indulge in curvy shapes.

Things at Architecture for Humanity were shaken up with the departure of co-founders Cameron Sinclair and Kate Stohr. Resiliency became the new sustainability. China suddenly became defined less for its adventurous architecture and urbanism and more for its darker, smoggier flipside. My hometown, Los Angeles got a few more bike lanes, some big plans for its concrete river, plus a new Bloomberg-esque mayor with attendant sustainability tsar. There were people complaining about architecture and telling us why they left the profession. Kanye got attacked for daring to tell us why he likes architecture, and then architecture loved talking about Kanye for weeks on end until we just wanted architecture to shut up about Kanye. Poor Kanye. There are so many things we could say were key in 2013. It’s been a great year. And there were also a lot of fantastic buildings.

But in terms of issues, what really stands out from 2013 (right up there with “resilience”) is equality – and nothing represented this better than Denise Scott Brown v. Pritzker Prize. In arguing that she has a rightful and equal place alongside husband Robert Venturi, she (along with Harvard GSD’s Women in Design organization) woke a sleeping giant—but not for the first time.

The Indicator: What the Julia Morgan AIA Gold Medal Says about Equality in Architecture

Interior of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley, CA. Image © Mark Anthony Wilson

“Is the building really in charge of a woman architect?” I asked the foreman… The man read me a powerful sermon of just three short sentences, punctuated with the earnestness of a reform orator. “An architect’s an architect,” he said, “and you can count them all on the fingers of one hand. Now, this building is in charge of a real architect and her name happens to be Julia Morgan, but it might as well be John Morgan.”

Journalist in 1906 upon learning of Julia Morgan winning a new commission. (Courtesy Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Robert E. Kennedy Library)

The recent announcement that Julia Morgan has posthumously received the 2014 , the AIA’s top honor, while positive and inspirational, raises some important questions concerning the recognition and advancement of women in the profession. She is the first woman, living or dead, to receive the honor in the award’s 106-year . From 1907 to 2012, all recipients have been men.

The Best (and Worst) Countries to Be a Female Architect

Denise Scott-Brown may be an icon for today’s – but is the USA hostile to female architects?. Image © Frank Hanswijk

As part of their annual survey of the world’s largest architecture practices, this year BD has also included a survey to help them quantify which countries are best suited for women with careers in architecture - particularly those who wish to work for large companies. In order to create these rankings, they found the ratio of male to female architects in various countries, and also sought out publicly available data on maternity and paternity leave requirements, and the average cost of childcare as a percentage of average wage. You can read more about their sometimes surprising results after the break.

Julia Morgan Awarded 2014 AIA Gold Medal

, FAIA (1872-1957)

The American Institute of Architects () has announced today their decision to posthumously award the 2014 Gold Medal to Julia Morgan, FAIA (1872-1957), “whose extensive body of work has served as an inspiration to a generation of female architects.”

“Julia Morgan is unquestionably among the greatest American architects of all time and a true California gem,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in her recommendation letter. “Morgan’s legacy has only grown over the years. She was an architect of remarkable breadth, depth, and consistency of exceptional work, and she is widely known by the quality of her work by those who practice, teach, and appreciate architecture.”

5 Women Changing the Face of Architecture

In a profession all-too-often associated with and dominated by men, women have begun to carve a space for themselves in the architecture world – but still few are recognized as they deserve. 

So Alice Shure and Janice Stanton, the founders of Amici Productions LLC, began work on a new documentary, : a visual register for future generations of architects that will document what is changing in architecture today and how these changes are affecting women. 

After interviewing over 30 architects, Shure and Stanton selected five women, five “rising stars” to hi-light. The documentary will show their day-to-day lives as well as tell the stories of how they achieved success. 

Thanks to a recent Kickstarter campaign, this project will soon be a reality. But to get your sneak peek into these five female pioneers, read on after the break.