Around 1 in 7 women in UK architecture practices has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace in the past year alone, according to the results of the annual Women in Architecture survey conducted by The Architects' Journal. The poll of nearly 1,500 architects also found that more than half of women have experienced some form of discrimination ranging from bullying to workplace rules that leave them disadvantaged in the same period. The AJ's survey, which in previous years has largely focused on issues such as pay disparity between men and women, focuses this year more broadly on gender discrimination and sexual harassment—a response to the global shift in awareness organized around movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp.
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Now in its fourth year, the Architects' Journal's Women in Architecture survey is firmly embedded into the discussion of gender roles within the architecture profession. Collected from an anonymous cross-section of practitioners, clients, consultants, engineers, developers, PRs, and academics, the 2015 survey focused on the UK alone, and saw the number of participants soar to an unprecedented high of 1,104 respondents, 20% of whom were male.
Results from previous years' surveys have sparked discussion amidst the architectural and mainstream media alike, and have been cited by RIBA and the UK government. The survey covers four main topics -- pay, practice, education, and children -- commencing with broader questions about discrimination before narrowing its aperture to more specific issues. View the results of the 2015 survey after the break.
As part of the their Architecture for All programme, London's Old Royal Naval College is set to host three debates about the future planned along the River Thames, investigating the issues surrounding living, building and working on the City's waterways in the years to come. The series is curated by Ellis Woodman, critic for the Architects' Journal and the Architectural Review, who said: "Despite the fact that the riverfront is currently the subject of redevelopment proposals of unprecedented scale, London’s ambitions for the Thames have yet to be widely articulated or debated." Details of the three events after the break.
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?
The Women in Architecture Survey, which is sponsored by UK magazine Architect's Journal, is open to both men and women and aims to track the perceptions of gender equality in the workplace. It's already yielded significant results - the survey last year revealed large pay gaps between male and female architects, as well as interesting perceptions of work/life balance of the different genders. Research goes towards the Architect's Journal's Women in Architecture campaign, whose goal it is to promote the status of women in the industry. You can find the survey here.
The Architects' Journal recently published an article pitting five competing views of teaching sustainability against one another. The opinions come from a range of backgrounds, including engineers, tutors and landscape architects, and discuss how architecture students should be taught to design in a sustainable way - or if they should be taught this at all.
The competing opinions are telling in the issues that they highlight, demonstrating how complex the issue of sustainability has become, and how it fits into the wider context of architectural education.
Read the different reactions to the issue of sustainability in education after the break
In an article by the Architects' Journal, Tony Fretton is quoted as saying there ought to be fewer architecture schools in the UK, with more difficult entry requirements and a higher failure rate. "There should be a shortage of architects in the UK," he says, "fewer bad architects, fewer good architects".
Citing Switzerland and the Netherlands as countries which do well with just 2 or 3 major architecture schools, he believes that architectural education should be concentrated into just a few schools in order to give students more access to the best tutors.
Read more about Fretton's proposal after the break