Architecture, like very few other industries, combines logic and art throughout its entire process. There are a lot of theories that discuss which of those two sides should dominate. Hence, a lot of the creative power vanishes by political, economic, and sometimes social constraints. Likely, many buildings are just dysfunctional sculptures, negating the whole notion of architecture. On top of that, architecture shares a big chunk of the global economy. It becomes a game-changer in the world’s economy and future. Moreover, those same factors sometimes construct a barrier in the face of women to finding their way through architecture.The idea of designing a building is already complex enough for architects to balance their authentic expression of a complete artwork and the logistics of building on the ground with all the market and political pressure. Being a woman now adds an extra layer of complication that, in one way or another, affects their designs and limits their complete potential. Therefore, the fact that architecture is a male-dominated industry, cannot be ignored. The United States has 140,137 architects employed, almost 78% of them men. These numbers raise so many questions:

Why is architecture a male-dominated industry? How does this affect women in the same field? Does it have to do with any sort of discrimination? or these numbers do not indicate anything. What unique burdens and challenges do female architects have to overcome? How do they get recognized in a fiercely competitive industry? And to what extent do their designs and buildings reflect an alternative vision? 

Youtube for Architects: Architecture: Insights into a male-dominated industry by DW Documentary - Sheet1
Insights into a male-dominated industry DW Documentary_©

Insights into male-dominated industries try to answer those questions by gathering a group of pioneering women architects to discuss their work and opinion regarding this topic. The documentary hosts big names in architecture along with their impressive work such as; Regine Leibinger, Inken Bühring, Kerstin Dörhöfer, Helga Blocksdorf, and Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge. Besides, the female architects portrayed in this film shed light on topics from leadership and authority to creativity, pressure, competition, gender roles, and social responsibility. They talk about their relationships with power and reflect on an industry in flux.

Youtube for Architects: Architecture: Insights into a male-dominated industry by DW Documentary - Sheet2
Women rocking the world of architecture_©

They all agreed that what causes this domination of men in architecture most of the time is not because they are better but because it was easier for them to succeed. One of the factors that make women struggle in architecture and all of the other industries is social pressure. Plenty of women had to face their families and other cultural traditions to get a good education. Men do not encounter the same problem. Moreover, even when they find a way out through this aspect, they struggle to balance their work and private life due to the inflexible working regulations. Consequently, 40% of female architects in Germany work part-time. In addition, it is not only about the on-ground constraints but also the physiological effect of social pressure on women. For example, architecture firms shared by a man and a woman expect that the man is the designer or the creative mind and the woman is the executor. Accordingly, this affects, unconsciously, the performance of women in the field. On the other hand, many women got through to reserve a bright spot among men in architecture as Zaha Hadid, Odile Decq, Kazuyo Sejima, and so many more. Zaha Hadid, the queen of curves, was a British-Iraqi architect who held a distinct position in architecture even after her death. She was the first woman to earn the Pritzker prize. Her work was driven by Suprematism and Russian Avant-Garde, to find an alternative to the traditional architecture she rejected at her time. Her work is now an inspiration for every architect, especially women who, till this moment, struggle a lot in the architecture industry.The documentary features various works of female architects, whether they work in their firms, teach in top architecture schools or work with other architects. They express themselves, their work, and their different opinions on architecture. More importantly, they talk about the battles they face, their dreams, and what motivates them. Sometimes, these challenges become a point of strength or an edge, making their work distinct from other architects’. 

The wall house by Anupama Kundoo_©

Documentaries are now more powerful and accessible than any other type of media. Hence, people tend to watch videos more than read books. The point of having such a platform is eye-opening for every designer, whether a man or a woman. It sheds the light on the politics of architecture as an industry. Architects always discuss design philosophy and different styles. However, very few architects bare attention to the other underlying factors that push away the authenticity and full potential of creativity away. By watching the documentary, designers can learn more about different architectural theories, and many exceptional concepts and reflect on themselves. Finally, it gives distinction to the many female architects whose work is worth knowing. 


DW Documentary. (2022). Architecture: Insights into a male-dominated industry | DW Documentary. [YouTube video]. Available at: 

[Accessed 09 October 2022]. (2022). ARCHITECT DEMOGRAPHICS AND STATISTICS IN THE US. [online]. (Last updated 09 September 2022). Available at: [Accessed 09 October 2022].


A young student of architecture in the 4th year who believes that architecture is the art of changing people’s life not only by the physical existence of buildings but also by being provocative to the emotional and psychology of people.