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Where Are the Women Architects?

Great Names and Forgotten Women in Architecture and Design


Woman overlooks city

Is there a place for women in architecture?

Photo © Jasper James / Getty Images Girls at Architect Barbie Workshop

More than 400 girls participated in Architect Barbie workshops during the AIA National Convention in May 2011.

Photo © Jasper James / Getty Images Architect Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid has become a role model for aspiring architects.

Press photo by Giovanna Silva. Resnicow Schroeder Associates, Inc. (RSA). All Rights Reserved.

Architecture is a male-dominated profession. Women architects rarely receive headline-grabbing commissions like the World Trade Center buildings. Juries for prestigious awards such as the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the AIA Gold Medal have tended to choose men, even when female collaborators have shared equally in their architectural projects.

Can women break the glass ceiling in the architecture profession?

Times are changing. In 2004, Zaha Hadid became the first woman to win a Pritzker. Kazuyo Sejima shared the award with her husband in 2010. In 2014, nearly fifty years after her death, Julia Morgan was named an AIA Gold Medal Laureate. Strong movements are campaigning working to bring more recognition to accomplished women like Denise Scott Brown

This page is your starting place for exploring the role of women in architecture. You'll find links to information about the role of women designers in history, important women working in the field of architecture today, and biographies of women you may not have heard of.

Do you know a woman architect who should receive more recognition? Tell us!

Forgotten Women Designers

While men built skyscrapers and monuments, some of our most intimate buildings - the homes we live in - have been shaped by women. In 19th century America, it wasn't unusual for women to design and publish building plans for their homes and barns.

Great Women Architects

Despite the obstacles, some women have established highly successful careers in architecture and related professions. The women listed here are just a few who have won important awards and designed landmark buildings. How many do you know?

Architecture and Sex

Yes, of course, some architects are male and some are female. But what of the buildings? Are some buildings "male" and others "female"? And does the gender of the architect affect the "gender" of the building? This photo essay explores these questions from several perspectives.

Architecture Organizations for Women

Many excellent organizations are working to improve the status of women in the field of architecture. Explore these links to find organizations and resources in your own geographic area.

Discuss: Why Aren't There More Women Architects?

Readers in our Discussion Forum are debating. Are women held back by family pressures? Are males in the profession keeping women out? Or, are women simply "not interested"? What do you think?

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