Message - Re: Female architects?

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Posted by  Rog the Dodge on February 14, 2003 at 15:16:40:

In Reply to:  Female architects? posted by Michelle Elizabeth on February 10, 2003 at 06:05:31:

This kind of question is always sensitive because it sets itself up for immediate pulling down without any kind of considered response. Hence, I'm as good as a man why should I need a list of women architects? Or, here's a few I know. Or, some of my best friends are women architects.

Regrettably, there is a problem. I can only quote UK figures but they make it clear that of a student intake split of approx. 50/50 on a gender basis only 13% of the profession is female: a 50% wastage. This compares woefully with other professions such as medicine or law (although we have to be clear, there are glass ceilings in operation) and especially as architecture has flattered itself that it is some kind of liberal discipline. I have encountered some appalling attitudes to women architects at all stages of their careers simply because they are women.

The history of architecture, even in recent times, is the history of men in architecture and their attitudes. I can fully understand why Lisa Simpson might want to know of women architects, they feature so fitfully. Of course, the final judgement is not whether an architect was/is male or female but simply, is it a good piece of architecture.

I stayed in Julia Morgan's Womens Hall at Berkeley on a conference visit. I thought I was in a film set and fully expected Ida Lupino to sweep into the dining room any minute, but couldn't find anything about the building that said WOMAN: it was just a great period piece.

Stay with it, Lisa. The question, as it is in the history of art, is not whether the practitioner is male or female but rather, why are women so poorly represented?

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