Surveys on women in the profession and in positions of leadership began in the late 1970s. The statistics were not encouraging. Women made up 1% of registered architects in 1958. By 1988, the figure had climbed to 4%, and by 1999, it had risen to 13.5 percent. According to the AIA’s 2006 survey of architectural firms: “Since the late 1990s, the proportion of women in senior positions in the profession has increased. Women principals and partners in enterprises more than doubled from 4% in 1999 to 16% in 2005.”
This statement appears to be highly optimistic, however, when contrasted to the number of female students at US architectural schools, the numbers are less so. As a result, the Women in Architecture / Women in Design Committees are critical to boosting the number of female architects and principals.
According to data, women now make up over half of all students enrolled in architecture schools in the United States. Since the 1970s, this figure has steadily climbed. However, the number of women who become registered, advance to higher management, become partners, and own architectural companies have not risen at the same rate or percentage as their male colleagues. Currently, women make up just 17% of registered architects.
One of the notable American philosophers’ John Rawls says how, “the decision-makers are believed to be entirely self-interested, but their judgments are restrained by the absence of knowledge that they could use to adopt principles favorable to their particular circumstances. This epistemically limited situation is being concealed behind a veil of ignorance”
Women all across the world, including in architecture, face many types of bigotry that deprive them of chances in both their professional and personal life. Much of it stems from the fact that they have specific obligations and behavioral expectations in society. Hannah Rozenberg, a graduate of the Royal College of Art, conducted one of the investigations which state,
“When researching machine learning, I read an article which showed that through their teaching, machines understand that ‘man‘ is to ‘computer programmer‘ what ‘woman‘ is to ‘homemaker‘. This is one of the words that triggered this entire project.”
She created a project centered on an online calculator that determines whether or not a building is prejudiced. Various architectural terminology is assigned a “gender unit,” or GU, by the calculator. Architects can enhance the gender balance of their designs by adding or removing aspects.
There are several initiatives to comprehend and explain to the public and legislators the need of establishing a framework to enable the empowerment of women architects in academia, professional practice, and alternative streams. This would be accomplished by increased awareness, gender equality, and support for redressal.
The documentary “Women in Architecture” is one method of raising awareness and emphasizing the importance of gender equality. It was created while researching the causes and remedies for this situation. The goal is to enhance the position of the next generation of architects while also raising awareness of the issue in the industry and beyond. The film’s goal is to get viewers to think about their beliefs. Success in any job should be based only on aptitude and dedication, and should never be influenced by gender. These photographs of successful women in architecture are live proof of this, with the goal of inspiring people from various disciplines to shoot for the skies. Initiated by Sky-Frame, the “Women in Architecture” documentary is a call to inspiration, dialogue, and thought.
A little from the Sky-Frame team | Women in Architecture
“Architecture is highly emotive, very vivid, both in the process of its development and in its completed presentation. The most difficult issue was capturing the emotions of something stationary in motion and allowing them to affect the spectator. The concept was to depict the everyday lives of architects. Who are the persons responsible for the completed projects? What is their way of life? What motivates them to create architecture, and how do they get inspiration? The video “Women in Architecture” transports the audience to three very diverse international metropolises for a twenty-minute trip inside the life of our characters. The building, which plays a secondary part in the film, has an entirely different effect as a result”.
The documentary explores the lives of 3 innovative women in architecture
Toshiko Mori, Gabriela Carrillo, and Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge were approached; three architects from three different countries, at different stages of their careers, but with a lot in common: they are recognized practitioners with a passion for education, working with communities, and sensitivity to societal and built-environmental needs. We learn about their distinct life stories, ideologies, and sources of inspiration in the film.
The protagonists discuss the challenges they face as women in the industry, as well as their perspectives on being a woman in an industry led by men, how to balance work and private life, and the general challenges women face in the profession, as well as their perspectives on contemporary architecture.
Other subjects covered in the documentary include leadership and authority, the “cult of genius,” innovation, pressure, competitiveness, gender roles, and social responsibility. They discuss their personal power dynamics and reflect on an industry in upheaval.
The documentary travels from New York‘s hectic streets to Mexico City’s cultural riches and Berlin’s energy, allowing us to observe the impact of their efforts.
Let’s know our protagonists a little more
Gabriela Carrillo, a Mexican architect, has created an excellent career and is enthusiastic about the city, area, and diversity. Her globally acclaimed designs, first in collaboration with Mauricio Rocha and now in her own studio, have become the reference picture in Mexico when addressing modern architecture. Her interests are centered on the day-to-day since she leads a flexible and dynamic profession that allows her to maintain a balance between working and living.
You can read more about her here.
According to Toshiko Mori, a Japanese architect residing in the United States, context is everything that piques the interest of the people we create for. What separates her work is the sensitivity with which she recognizes subjectivity has room and may thrive in architecture, but must always serve the collective: “It’s about connecting with the outside world in a unique, individual way that only you can accomplish.”
You can read more about her here.
Johanna Meyer-rohbrügge | Women in Architecture
Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge was awestruck by the dual nature of architecture; its intellectual side and physical consequence. She stumbled into architectural studies by mistake and finally fell in love with the intricacy of the discipline and its variety of levels. The architect and her studio, Meyer-Grohbrügge in Berlin, attempt to spatialize content, develop relationships, and offer solutions for living together.
You can read more about her here.
A few other shows that might interest
Shattering the glass ceiling – Women in Architecture by DocFilm
City Dreamers is a Canadian documentary directed by Joseph Hillel
- dw.com. (n.d.). Shattering the glass ceiling – Women in architecture – DW – 09/30/2022. [online] Available at: https://www.dw.com/en/shattering-the-glass-ceiling-women-in-architecture/video-63295135 [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
- Archinect. (n.d.). Documentary explores the lives of 4 innovative women in architecture. [online] Available at: https://archinect.com/news/article/150210802/documentary-explores-the-lives-of-4-innovative-women-in-architecture [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
- Sky-frame.com. (2022). Women in Architecture | Sky-Frame. [online] Available at: https://www.sky-frame.com/en/sky-frame-world/stories/women-in-architecture/.
- www.sky-frame.com. (n.d.). Gabriela Carrillo | Sky-Frame. [online] Available at: https://www.sky-frame.com/en/sky-frame-world/gabriela-carrillo/ [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
- www.sky-frame.com. (n.d.). Toshiko Mori | Sky-Frame. [online] Available at: https://www.sky-frame.com/en/sky-frame-world/toshiko-mori/ [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
- www.sky-frame.com. (n.d.). Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge | Sky-Frame. [online] Available at: https://www.sky-frame.com/en/sky-frame-world/johanna-meyer-grohbruegge/ [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
- ArchDaily. (2022). Announcing ‘Women in Architecture’ Documentary. [online] Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/990819/announcing-women-in-architecture-documentary [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
- www.aia.org. (2020). Women in Architecture – AIA. [online] Available at: https://www.aia.org/articles/6252982-women-in-architecture.
- Mairs, J. (2018). Hannah Rozenberg develops online tool for designing architecture without gender bias. [online] Dezeen. Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2018/08/12/gender-neutral-architecture-hannah-rozenberg-rca-graduate-building-without-bias/.
- Madame Architect. (n.d.). Voice of Dignity: Gabriela Carrillo on Constructing a Thinking Process, Leaving Questions, and Reinventing Oneself. [online] Available at: https://www.madamearchitect.org/interviews/2022/1/24/gabriela-carrillo [Accessed 5 Feb. 2023].
- Harvard Graduate School of Design. (n.d.). Toshiko Mori. [online] Available at: https://www.gsd.harvard.edu/person/toshiko-mori/.