Women in Architecture

The centenary of the birth of Brazilian architect Lina bo Bardi, the recent renovation of the villa E1027 by the Irish designer and architect Eileen Gray, as well as the creation of prizes such as ‘Woman Architect of the Year”, won this year by Teresa Borsuk, has led to an increase of media attention towards the work of female architects, their contributions to the profession, and the ways in which gender-specific challenges are acknowledged and negotiated.

More than forty years after Linda Nochlin’s provocative text “Why have there been no Great Women Artists?” posed at the height of the second feminist movement in 1971, female artists and architects have increasingly become the subjects of historical research, while at the same time more effort is being directed towards identifying gender bias, equal opportunities, and career support in contemporary practices.

This session invites papers that investigate the work of female architects in the 20th and 21st centuries, in order to support research on lesser-known architects as well as on that of celebrated female architects (e.g. Denise Scott Brown, Odile Deqc, Grafton Architects, Zaha Hadid). Papers are invited that critically investigate gender bias, marginalisation, or notions of female architects as passive muses who spark male ‘genius’. Investigations into questions of whether or not prizes for the best female architect perpetuate stereotypes, what challenges women in contemporary practice face, or which roles female architects take in the shaping of contemporary architectural trends and movements, are equally encouraged.

Session chairs:Dr Tanja Poppelreuter, t.poppelreuter@ulster.ac.uk, Ulster University, Belfast and Dr Jenny Russell, je.russell@ulster.ac.uk, Ulster University, Belfast