Italian activists RebelArchitette and VOW Architects, led by Louise Braverman, Caroline James, Arielle Assouline-Lichten and Francesca Perani, have launched a petition seeking equal recognition for Doriana Fuksas in the Lifetime Achievement Award recently given to her fellow partner and Director of Studio Fuksas, Massimiliano Fuksas.
The petition, signed by over 80 supporters on the first day of the launch, includes an open letter to INARCH (Istituto Nazionale di Architettura) in Rome, Italy, and has attracted the support of notable names such as Massimiliano Fuksas, Denise Scott Brown, Rem Koolhaas, Bjarke Ingels, Paola Antonelli, Beatriz Colomina, Gisue Hariri, and Toshiko Mori.
INARCH have defended their decision, responding to the Architects' Journal by saying the award was given in recognition of Massimiliano’s life story rather than his output. While recognizing the need for equal treatment for men and women, and the lack of opportunities for women in the profession, INARCH says they “cannot give a prize to Massimiliano and Doriana if he started 15 years earlier.”
Reflecting on the petition, the organizers say “women are a majority in the world and increasingly present in Architecture, however do not receive equal recognition.” Earlier this year, the team hosted the Voices of Women (VOW) Architects Flash Mob in the Giardini of the 2018 Venice Biennale, gathering peacefully asking for a common goal of “equal rights and respect for all members of our community.”
The petition also follows from the launch of RebelArchitette’s #timefor50 (time for equality) campaign, in pursuit of equal representation of male and female professionals at all ranks in the profession. Their book "Architette=Women Architects ½ Here We Are!" is freely available online, and lists 365 “exceptional women architects from all over the world are listed as potential participants for events.”
The petition for equal recognition of Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas in the INARCH Lifetime Achievement Award can be viewed and signed here. Below, we have reprinted the full letter written to INARCH.
Amedeo Schiattarella, President of the Istituto Nazionale di Architettura Region Lazio
Andrea Margaritelli, President of the Istituto Nazionale di Architettura
We are writing on behalf of Doriana Fuksas, as we understand that she was overlooked in the selection process of the Premio alla Carriera Architettura. Doriana and Massimiliano are equal partners. We are calling for equal recognition for equal work.
We are a diverse group from around the world. We lead our own firms, are directors of schools, are award-winning architects, journalists, and professors. This past May at the Venice Biennale of Architecture, many of us came together as a Flash Mob in the Giardini during the preview days of the Venice Biennale as part of Voices of Women (VOW) Architects. The Flash Mob is a peaceful gathering of individuals asking for a common goal. In this case it’s equal rights and respect for all members of our community. Organizers included Martha Thorne, Louise Braverman, Francesca Perani, Farshid Moussavi, Toshiko Mori, Caroline Bos, Benedetta Tagliabue, Odile Decq, Caroline James and Atxu Amann. We read a manifesto in the Giardini to hundreds of men and women who were there to rally in support towards a change in the Architecture profession.
The work continues. Today, with other groups, we are supporting the initiative of RebelArchitette: "Time for 50" - Time for Equality. We are looking at the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
When we read last week in the news that Massimiliano Fuksas has received the Premio alla Carriera Architettura, we were stunned that the prize did not include Doriana Fuksas. Doriana and Massimiliano are equal partners. It's important to correct the record now so that young architects can look up to their incredible work and know the whole story -- that the work is strong because of joint creativity and collaboration.
We are signing in solidarity to show our support for the tremendous achievements of Doriana and Massimiliano, and ask that you amend the Premio alla Carriera Architettura now to recognize Doriana and Massimiliano, together.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.