Judith Edelman, FAIA, an American architect and feminist who hoped to rid architecture of its “gentleman’s club” status, has passed away at 91. Starting her career in an era when hiring “girls” wasn’t the norm, Edelman’s work to elevate women in architecture has paved the way for many of today’s leading architects; She was the first woman ever elected to the executive committee of the AIA’s New York chapter and she helped co-found the Alliance of Women in Architecture in 1972. Edelman’s built work, also highly admired, ranged from affordable housing to schools and health clinics, mostly in the New York City area. You can read Edelman’s obituary here.
Last March, Caroline James and Arielle Assouline-Lichten spearheaded a campaign that called on Pritzker to retroactively recognize Denise Scott Brown for her role in the 1991 Pritzker Prize, won by Robert Venturi. Continuing their quest to bring the issue of gender equality into a positive and progressive light, James has conducted a series of interviews with five women architects at the 2014 Venice Biennale to share their rich and complex experiences and offer diverse perspectives. Conversations ranging from the controversial role of Modernism to the journey towards inclusion and the challenges of opening offices abroad, include insight from Caroline Bos of UNStudio, Louise Braverman, Odile Decq, Yasmine Shariff of Dennis Sharp Architects, and Benedetta Tagliabue of Miralles Tagliabue EMBT. Watch the video above to view the discussions in-depth.
How do architects stack up against other professions on male/female ratio? Recent data on workers in the United States reveals some compelling information on where women are working – and where men hold sway. Construction work leans heavily male, while research and analyst work is led by women. Where does architecture fit on the scale? See the full infographic showing the percentage of men versus women in architecture after the break.
Today is American architect Denise Scott Brown’s 83rd birthday. It is no secret that the woman has made an indelible mark on architectural history and has significantly advanced the role of women in architecture, though many would argue that her success hasn’t fully been accredited.
In light of Brown’s success and birthday, we would like to share some fascinating statistics presented by Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) that measure the progress on gender in architecture. According to the report, women make up 51% of the 316 million people residing in the US, however only 25% of the 193,000 registered architects are women. This presents the question, “Where are all the women?”
The statistics on US women in architecture, after the break.
As part of CNN’s Leading Women series, Sheena McKenzie explores the work of Turkish architect Zeynep Fadillioglu - perhaps the first female architect to design a mosque, now on her third. In buildings where men and women are traditionally separated for worship, and women are often given a smaller space, Fadillioglu “purposely placed the women’s section in one of the most beautiful parts of the light-flooded dome” in Istanbul’s Sakirin Mosque. McKenzie concludes that although “Fadillioglu might have made a name for herself designing mosques, you don’t needn’t be religious to admire their beauty.”
A mosque isn’t for a certain type of person, or certain type of area. It’s supposed to be used by anyone and everyone.
Read the article in full here.
Of all the changes in architectural typologies in recent years, one of the most dramatic – and the most documented – is the transition from corporate to more casual, ‘fun’ office buildings. This change has infiltrated companies from tiny 5-person start-ups to Silicon Valley giants, and while it has been pioneered by tech and media companies it has certainly not been limited to them.
Most analysis of this change focuses on work patterns created by new technology or the demands of the ‘millennial’ worker, but this post originally published on Means the World - the blog of NBBJ - examines the shift away from the corporate office as a product of not just what these building are but what they represent about us as a society, arguing that “when today’s workers look at the midcentury office, they see a symbol of exclusion.”
The number of women becoming architects in the UK is increasing, according to the latest figures by the UK’s Architects Registration Board (ARB). Now, 7,538 female architects are registered with the ARB, up nearly 74% from just 10 years ago, the Architects’ Journal (AJ) reports. Yet despite the overall increase, women still only make up 22% of the profession, and represented just 38% of the new registrants in 2013.
Read on after the break for comments from female architects…
The 6th Annual Architecture and Design Film Festival is set to return to New York City on October 15th for five days of premieres and showings. With a special themed focus on Women in Architecture, the US’s largest architecture-related film festival will present over twenty five feature-length and short films in a programme curated by Kyle Bergman and Laura Cardello. Designed to provide “rare glimpses and intimate portrayals of seminal figures and growing movements in the fields of architecture, design, urbanism and fashion,” this year’s festival will also feature a 3D film series exploring six iconic structures from filmmakers such as Wim Wenders and Robert Redford.
Explore the highlights and find out more about the festival after the break.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 history programme.”
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 AIA 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
Maria Smith, 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 architecture. For 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?