Gender inequality in the architecture profession has continued to be a cause for concern, with a recent survey from the AIA showing that women feel that little to no progress has been made with overcoming gender obstacles. Following the recent passing of Zaha Hadid, a powerful pioneer and role model for female designers, The New York Times launched an online survey asking women in architecture about their experiences in the profession. Read some of the excerpts from the two hundred responses they received after the break.
Women In Architecture: The Latest Architecture and News
Following the death of Zaha Hadid on March 31st of this year Section D, Monocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, hones in on the role of women in architecture and design. They discuss why, despite an almost 50:50 gender split in undergraduate architecture courses, women are still grossly underrepresented at senior levels within the profession by featuring conversations with two leading female architects, Angela Brady OBE and Amanda Levete. The episode also looks back over the lives of some of architecture's overlooked heroines.
Jennifer Siegal, founder of Los Angeles-based Office of Mobile Design (OMD), has been announced as the winner of the fourth arcVision Prize – Women and Architecture, an international award to women’s architecture organized by Italcementi. Siegal was unanimously chosen by the jury for being “a fearless pioneer in the research and development of prefabricated construction systems, at low prices for disadvantaged users and areas, who has been able to invent and build practical solutions and a new language for mobile and low-cost housing."
"Innovation and unconventional thinking are both hardwired into my DNA. This shows in my body of work and research that questions everything, particularly the static, heavy, inflexible architecture that we somehow still expect in a world that is anything but," said Siegal in a press release.
In the ongoing debate about women in the architecture profession, you rarely hear an argument for why equal representation is important; it's generally assumed to be an unquestionable moral imperative. However, in this article originally published on the Huffington Post as "Why Women's Leadership Is Essential for Architects," Lance Hosey argues that, regardless of your position on equality as a moral imperative, better representation of women in architecture could benefit everyone in the profession—in very tangible ways.
Last week, on International Women's Day (March 8), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) published "Diversity in the Profession of Architecture," its first diversity report in a decade. The release follows the creation in December of the AIA's "Equity in Architecture Commission," a panel of twenty architects, educators, and diversity experts to investigate diversity and inclusion in the profession. The new report documents a survey of over 7,300 professional architects and students, including men and women, 79% of them whites and 21% people of color.
20 prominent women in architecture have been shortlisted for the arcVision Prize - a prize that "aims to give recognition to women whose work brings an innovative new design, theoretical or practical approach to the economic, social and cultural issues at play in the field of architecture." Referred to some as the "Pritzker for women," the yearly arcVision Prize is now in its fourth edition.
The full list of nominees includes:
In recent years, there has been a significant amount of attention paid to the gender debate in architecture, with many asking why, in the 21st century, our profession can still be such a challenging career path for women. In many ways, this focus on women in architecture has seemed successful: In 2014, Julia Morgan became the first woman awarded the AIA Gold Medal, and while Denise Scott-Brown may not have been retroactively awarded a Pritzker Prize, the AIA's decision to open up its Medal to more than one person at a time finally allowed her to join Julia Morgan on the (very short) list of female winners. Over in the UK, this year Zaha Hadid was awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, making her the first woman in history to receive the prize without sharing it with a male partner. Yet despite these apparent victories for equality in architecture, we still see headlines like the recent discovery by the AR's Women in Architecture Survey that gender disparities are, in fact, increasing.
Today, on International Women's Day, we wanted to open up a discussion among ArchDaily readers to see what else could be done. What more could architects, institutions and indeed even the media do to close the gender gap in our profession? Let us know in the comments below and the best responses will be featured in an upcoming article.
Zaha Hadid, Di Zhang, Carme Pinos, Jeanne Gang, Carla Juaçaba, Bia Lessa, Elisabete de Oliveira Saldanha, Sandra Barclay, Kazuyo Sejima, Sharon Davis, Elisa Burnazzi,Tatiana Bilbao, Jô Vasconcellos, Odile Decq, María Victoria Besonías, Lina Bo Bardi.
While there is still a lot of progress that needs to be made to achieve gender equality within the profession, women are behind some of the most recognizable and inspiring projects. To honor their work, and in light of International Women's Day, we present 15 outstanding projects designed by female architects.
The selection features work by the only two women to have been awarded the Pritzker Prize – Zaha Hadid and Kazuyo Sejima – as well as projects designed by Sharon Davis and Elisabete de Oliveira Saldanha, who both won Building of the Year 2016 awards. All fifteen projects represent the potential of each architect and can serve as inspiration for everyone.
View all of the projects after the break.
The Architectural Review has announced the final winners in its 2016 Women in Architecture awards, awarding Mexican architect Gabriela Etchegaray with the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture, and Jeanne Gang with the Architect of the Year award. In honoring Gang and Etchegaray, the AR noted that both "have demonstrated excellence in design and a commitment to working both sustainably and democratically with local communities." The pair join other Women in Architecture Award winners Odile Decq and Julia Peyton-Jones, who last week received the 2016 Jane Drew Prize and Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, respectively. Read on for more about the awards.
One out of five women responding to the survey said that they would not encourage a woman to start a career in architecture, and a similar proportion said they were unsure—only six out of ten overall would recommend an architectural career to another woman.
Julia Peyton-Jones has won the 2016 Ada Louise Huxtable Prize. Awarded as part of the Architectural Review's (AR) annual Women in Architecture Awards, the prize honors Peyton-Jones' "incredible global impact achieved with limited resources – and as someone who has done so much to nurture architectural vision and make architecture available to many people."
Peyton-Jones has serves as the Serpentine Gallery co-director for the past 25 years, overseeing the start of the Serpentine Gallery Pavillon commissions and opening of Zaha Hadid Architects' Serpentine Sackler Gallery. She will step down from her longstanding position this summer.
Odile Decq has won the 2016 Jane Drew Prize as part of the Architectural Review's (AR) annual Women in Architecture Awards. Co-founder of Studio Odile Decq, the French architect was awarded for being a "a creative powerhouse, spirited breaker of rules and advocate of equality." Her diverse portfolio ranges from art galleries and museums, to social housing and infrastructure. She is best known for the Cargo incubator building in Paris and the Fangshan Tangshan National Geopark Museum in Nanjing, China.
The Architectural Review (AR) has unveiled the candidates for its 2016 Woman Architect of the Year and the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture awards. Tatiana Bilbao, Jeanne Gang, Kazuyo Sejima and Charlotte Skene Catling are all being considered as the woman of the year for their impact and ability to inspire change within the profession.
Eleven women are being considered for the Moira Gemmill Prize for Emerging Architecture prize for their "use of innovative architecture to effect positive social change." Read on to see them all.
In August 1975, Architectural Design magazine published a special edition about Women in Architecture. At the time, director Monica Pidgeon sent letters to 100 architects asking what women can contribute to architecture that men can’t (and vice-versa), as well as the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in the profession.
Now, 40 years later, a new version of the study aims to repeat Pidgeon’s initiative through an online survey with similar questions.
As a part of the Women in Architecture (WIA) program and its greater campaign, readers are invited to participate in a survey to help track the evolving status of women in the profession on a global level. The anonymous survey is “open to men and women working in the built environment and aims to track perceptions of equality, salary, and flexible working.”
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has announced Denise Scott Brown, hon. FAIA and Robert Venturi, FAIA, as joint winners of the 2016 AIA Gold Medal. The AIA cited the duo for their "built projects as well as literature that set the stage for Postmodernism and nearly every other formal evolution in architecture." Scott Brown and Venturi are the first ever pair to receive the Gold Medal, after the AIA approved a change to its bylaws in 2013 that allowed the award to be presented to up to two individuals working together.
For this edition of The Urbanist, Monocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team discuss women in urbanism, asking whether "a city planned or managed by a woman look different to any other?" From architects defending and stimulating Lisbon's public spaces, to new urban design in Niterói (situated in the "long shadow" of Rio de Janiero), this episode uses gender as a device to explore city-tactics.
The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) has released “NCARB by the Numbers,” their annual report featuring statistics important to the architecture profession in the US. NCARB’s research portrays a positive future for the profession, with statistics showing that diversity is growing, architects are becoming licensed at an earlier age and progressing through licensure paths more quickly than in previous years, and more architects are becoming licensed than ever before.
The 2015 report covers the causes and effects of the results, looking into the impact of location and education. A section entitled “Jurisdictions by the Numbers,” lays out standardized relevant information for viewers to investigate conditions in the architecture profession in each state. The report also includes an analysis of the role of NAAB-accredited programs in helping architects achieve licensure.
Learn more on the information in NCARB’s report after the break.
"I cannot, in whole conscience, recommend architecture as a profession for girls. I know some women who have done well at it, but the obstacles are so great that it takes an exceptional girl to make a go of it. If she insisted on becoming an architect, I would try to dissuade her. If then, she was still determined, I would give her my blessing–she could be that exceptional one."
– Pietro Belluschi, FAIA from the 1955 New York Life Insurance Company brochure, “Should You Be an Architect?”
With great fanfare, in mid-October 2014 on the opening night of the 6th annual Architecture and Design Film Festival in Manhattan, Festival Director Kyle Bergman announced that the festival’s special focus this year was on women in architecture. “We’ve been wanting to feature women in architecture for a while now,” he told me, “and this year we finally have the films to make that happen,” referring to three new documentaries: Gray Matters (2014), Making Space: 5 Women Changing the Face of Architecture (2014) and Zaha Hadid: Who Dares Wins (2013).