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."
Yasmin Shariff of Dennis Sharp Architects added: ‘It was not just these five men who built Britain. This is a very biased and misogynistic view of architecture. Decisions Foster and Rogers made at Team 4 were also down to the two other founding partners. Yet Wendy [Cheesman] and Su [Rogers] were also lacking from the show.’
In its defense, a BBC spokesperson stated: ‘At the start of making the series, the director met with both Michael and Patricia Hopkins to discuss their involvement in the series. At that meeting, [Patty] Hopkins specified the degree to which she wanted to be featured in the series.The series did not aim to be a comprehensive story of post war British architecture, it is the story of a very specific group of architects who were united by close connections, both personally and in terms their early work."
What do you think? By focusing on five male figures - and literally taking Ms. Hopkins out of the picture - is the BBC perpetuating a sexist version of architectural history? Let us know in the comments below.
Story via Architect's Journal