There's an old, weary tune that people sing to caution against being an architect: the long years of academic training, the studio work that takes away from sleep, and the small job market in which too many people are vying for the same positions. When you finally get going, the work is trying as well. Many spend months or even years working on the computer and doing models before seeing any of the designs become concrete. If you're talking about the grind, architects know this well enough from their training, and this time of ceaseless endeavor in the workplace only adds to that despair.
Which is why more and more architects are branching out. Better hours, more interesting opportunities, and a chance to do more than just build models. Furthermore, the skills you learn as an architect, such as being sensitive to space, and being able to grasp the cultural and societal demands of a place, can be put to use in rather interesting ways. Here, 3 editors at ArchDaily talk about being an architect, why they stopped designing buildings, and what they do in their work now.
"Where are the women architects?" Despina Stratigakos, an architectural historian and professor, lamented in her book about women in the practice. (She even titled her book that very question.) The sentiment was certainly a resounding one, well-understood by many women who have worked in the profession and had to break through a male citadel. We know the number of women in architecture is small, and it gets smaller the higher up we look.
Which is why we wanted to recognize the women who are at the top, leading practices, and paving the way. To celebrate International Women's Day this month, we launched an open call to recognize women who run their own firms all around the world. And if their projects had never been published by us before, we were going to give them the spotlight.
What we found were an incredible group of women who impressed us with their designs, their work ethic, and their dedication towards the profession. Not only do these women design and build, but they lead teams, manage offices, and eventually took the leap to be their own bosses and do things their own way.
Last week, ArchDaily covered a story about the gender pay gap at Foster + Partners. We thought such a story was "unsurprising" given that the gender pay gap is something that is widely reported on, and present in almost every industry, and we wanted to share a case of it happening in an architectural firm many of us are familiar with. What we did not expect was that readers would think it is a non-issue, or that such reporting was sensational. Is it possible for us to talk about gender in the workplace without being up in arms? Why does the gender pay gap issue make people uncomfortable?
Some of our editors discussed how gender plays into their workplace experiences as well as some hopeful recent signs that we are on a path to change.
The history of Mexican photography has contributed to highlighting Mexico's presence in the world. Photographers like Elsa Medina, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Maya Goded, and Juan Rulfo have masterfully portrayed the life of the buildings, houses and the streets of a rapidly built, nineteenth-century Mexico.
As a consequence, the contemporary scene of Mexican photography has become a fundamental tool for architecture and has contributed to a better visual understanding of the works that are erected every day.
Photography and architecture are two disciplines that go hand in hand and whose relationship has been reinforced thanks to the digital tools that we currently have. For that reason, we have compiled the work of contemporary Mexican photographers who record our walk through the world we live in and contribute to constructing the image of contemporary Mexico.
The New York Times has detailed accusations of sexual harassment made by five women against architect Richard Meier. The allegations have been made by four women who have worked with Mr. Meier, including two women describing incidents which have occurred over the last ten years. A fifth woman, who did not work at the firm, details an incident with Mr. Meier in the 1980s.
In response to the allegations put to Mr. Meier by the New York Times, the 83-year-old architect has said he will take a six-month leave of absence from his firm, and issued the following statement:"I am deeply troubled and embarrassed by the accounts of several women who were offended by my words and actions. While our recollections may differ, I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my behavior."
https://www.archdaily.com/890682/richard-meier-accused-of-sexual-harassment-by-5-women-temporarily-steps-down-from-firmAD Editorial Team
At ArchDaily we want to see more women showing their projects to the world and receiving the recognition they deserve for their work. Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day and, with the help of our readers, we want to continue to give visibility to the valuable contribution made every day to the field of architecture by millions of colleagues.
As one of the largest architecture firms in the world, and based in Battersea, London, Foster + Partners has released their report into gender pay issues, becoming one of the first architecture firms to do so. The report reveals significant under-representation of women at senior level resulting in a pay gap across the firm, and outlines a commitment to encouraging gender diversity at all levels of management.
https://www.archdaily.com/890336/theres-a-gender-pay-gap-at-foster-plus-partners-unsurprisinglyNiall Patrick Walsh
Two South American architects have been selected as the winners of The Architectural Review and The Architects’ Journal’s 2018 Women in Architecture awards. This year’s top prize, Architect of the Year, has been awarded to Peruvian architect Sandra Barclay, while Paraguayan architect Gloria Cabral has been selected as the winner of the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture, with both being recognized by the jury for their mastery of materials.
2017 is in the past. Nevertheless, the year has left us a series of lessons, new wisdom and better tools to help us face the challenges of 2018. What surprises will this year bring us?
We asked our editors at Plataforma Arquitectura (ArchDaily's Spanish arm) to make predictions based on what they've learnt in 2017, and to share with readers the topics they expect to be in the limelight in 2018.
Is there an aspect, a recurring mark, that reveals a difference in the way that male and female architecture photographers see the world? This is, perhaps, one of those rhetorical questions often used as an argument to shed light on works produced by women and for which there is no precise answer.
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.
British architect Amanda Levete has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 Jane Drew Prize, recognizing “an architectural designer who, through their work and commitment to design excellence, has raised the profile of women in architecture.”
Founder of London-based practice AL_A, Levete rose to promise as one half of Stirling Prize-winning practice Future Systems, which she ran with then-husband Jan Kaplický. Together, they completed paradigm-shifting and critically acclaimed works such as the Birmingham Selfridges and the Lord’s Media Centre, winner of the 1999 RIBA Stirling Prize.
It’s no secret that the architecture field struggles with diversity. Both personal stories and deeper studies detail the profession’s lack of representation. But despite concerns suggesting diversity in the field remains stagnant, there’s good news: the latest data from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) reveals that gender, racial, and ethnic diversity is slowly improving.
The 2017 edition of NCARB by the Numbers (NCARB’s annual data report) indicates that while the number of architects and licensure candidates holds steady, the pool of individuals is more diverse than ever before. Although there is still much room for improvement, this data provides an encouraging glimpse into the future of the profession.
https://www.archdaily.com/885908/ncarb-by-the-numbers-report-reveals-positive-trends-for-diversity-in-the-architecture-professionthe National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
In many parts of the world, such as Brazil, more women have architectural degrees than men. However, this fact hasn’t translated past college into the working world as women continue to be underrepresented.
This short essay was written by Elizabeth Darling and Lynne Walker, the curators of AA XX 100– a multi-media project celebrating the centenary of women in London's Architectural Association (1917-2017).
Established in 2013, the AA XX 100 project was initiated to tell the story of women at the AA, with the aim of commemorating the centenary (this year) of their admission to the school with an exhibition, book, and international conference. When the project began we didn't know the names of the first students but, four years on, we do, and in telling their story—and that of the generations of women who followed them—we see that their history is at once a history of the AA and architectural education, as well as a history of British and world architecture across the 20th and 21st Centuries.
https://www.archdaily.com/883572/paving-the-way-celebrating-a-centenary-of-women-at-londons-architectural-associationArchitectural Association (AA)
Contemporary Japanese homes are a balance between the country’s traditional values of organizing spaces and architectural innovation that is constantly on the move. They challenge the norms of how to occupy places, pushing the envelope for what it means to have a minimal, “micro-living”. Through experiments small and smaller, residential projects in Japan shed new light on how we go about our daily routines and rituals at home and question urbanites on what we can do with the space we have.
For this reason, we’re inspired to go through our archives and bring out 10 projects that bring out new perspectives on Japanese architecture, be it aesthetic, functional or atmospheric.
The concept of heritage is often associated with something that has had value in its past and, for that reason, deserves to be preserved. In the case of architecture, we want our built environment to tell our history and to remain untouched in time, often without considering the real use and meaning of the building in the present. We ask ourselves: Does a building still have value if its use is obsolete?
Despite the fascination that we have with ruins, sometimes conversion or rehabilitation is a better, more contemporary alternative to conservation. By doing so, it is possible to introduce new innovative materials, which, rather than take away from the original structure, can actually add even more value to architectural works. It is also possible to convert spaces that were originally designed to accommodate certain functions into spaces that admit new uses relevant to the present.
To conserve a building without updating it or rethinking its functions can lead to wear and tear, freezing it in time and preventing it from adapting to an ever-changing society.
To illustrate this theme, we searched our archives and selected someof the best architectural interventions in historic buildings. Check them out below.