Architecture goes beyond structures and explores the complex web of motivations and beliefs that form the foundation of the spaces we live in. Suzanne Stephens, the Editor of Architectural Record, has made an impact on the realm of architecture. Renowned for her prowess and invaluable contributions to the magazine, this article will explore Suzanne’s advertising background, her influential role at Architecture Record, and her profound influence on the publication. Suzanne Stephens plays a role within Architectural Record, influencing the direction of the magazine. Not only is she a writer, but also an editor and critic. She had been dedicating multiple years to the field of architecture. Suzanne Stephens holds a degree in history from Cornell University and currently teaches a seminar on the history of architectural criticism at Barnard and Columbia Colleges within their architecture program. With her background, she brings valuable experience and knowledge to her position as an editor. Her approach to editing focuses on curating articles that explore the ideas, structures, and unique perspectives in the world of architecture. As an editor, she has contributed ideas, articles, and initiatives that have made a significant impact on the industry. In 2002 Stephens successfully  defended her Ph.D. dissertation titled “Tenacious Beauty; How Aesthetic Standards, in Architectural Criticism Evolved from 1850, to 1915” at Cornell University. In the 1960s she embarked on her career as an editor and journalist contributing to prominent American architectural magazines like Progressive Architecture, Architectural Forum, Architectural Record and Skyline (the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies journal). Throughout her journey she has also lent her expertise to renowned newspapers such as The New York Times and well known magazines like Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest, New York Magazine, Manhattan Inc. And House and Garden. Presently Suzanne Stephens holds the role of an architecture critic and serves as an associate editor, at The Architectural Record.

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Portrait Suzanne stephens  _©Architectural Record

In her role as editor, Suzanne Stephens face responsibilities. She oversees the content of the magazine, ensuring that it captures reader’s attention while delivering information. She also manages a team of writers and editors who work together to meet the publication’s writing standards. 

Nevertheless, being an editor also comes with its challenges. Keeping up with the changing field of architecture is quite a challenge. It requires an effort to stay updated on the advancements, which include new technologies, innovative writing materials and evolving design research.

In order for Architectural Record magazine to maintain its reputation, it is crucial for the editorial staff, including Suzanne Stephens to update their content consistently. They face challenges such as incorporating interests and writing styles that appeal to readers of different ages and levels of experience.  However, she has turned her talent into a strength. Alongside her work as an architectural journalist, she has produced her own publications, such as the book “IMAGINING GROUND ZERO: Official and Unofficial Proposals for the World Trade Center Site”. Theis publication provides an in-depth exploration of the developments and discussions surrounding the World Trade Center site. With proposals featured in publications like the New York Times, there has been a surge of interest and speculation. This comprehensive compendium showcases the five “proposals considered by the city and other relevant entities. The illustrations offer details presented in colors and black-and-white imagery. The accompanying text is informative, engaging, and filled with enthusiasm for the 120 projects that will never come to fruition.

Throughout her time as an editor at Architectural Record, Suzanne Stephens has overseen issues, articles, essays and editorial initiatives. One notable initiative is the marvelous essay “Women in American Architecture – A Historic and Contemporary Perspective”, which garnered attention for showcasing the achievements of female architects worldwide. Indeed, this essay is a collaboration between Doris Cole, Sara Boutelle, Gwendolyn Wright, Susan 

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Women in American Architecture  _©the Architectural League of New York

Fondiler Berkon, Naomi Leff Carolyn Johnson, Jane McGroarty, Lucy R. Lippard, Dolores Hayden, Judith Paine, Suzanne Stephens, Mary Otis Stevens, Suzanne Stephens.

In 1977, The Architectural League established the Archive of Women in Architecture. Organized an exhibition and book titled “Women in American Architecture; A Contemporary Perspective.” Led by Susana Torre and with contributions from founding members of the Archive, the book aimed to showcase the high-quality work of women in architecture, planning, and design.This mission not only celebrated women in a masculine field but also sparked essential discussions about progressing towards gender equality and embracing diverse architectural styles. Following an introduction by Susana Torre the book is divided into five parts featuring chapters written by thirteen known women in journalism. These chapters explore how professional women have designed and written about women’s roles as homemakers; they also describe the careers of women architects from the mid-19th century to the 1960s. Additionally, they delve into the position of women as critics through four careers, analyze the contemporary perspective on women in the profession as of 1977, and provide a summary of women’s spatial symbolism.


Suzanne Stephens : Member (no date).

Architectural Record (no date).

Wikipedia contributors (2023a) Architecture criticism.

Women in American Architecture – The Architectural League of New York (2018).

IMAGINING GROUND ZERO: Official and Unofficial Proposals for the World Trade Center Site by Suzanne Stephens, Ian Luna (no date).