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March 2018 on Women in Architecture

Wolff Architects | WISE Architecture | MAIO | Gabinete de Arquitectura | Dow Jones | Paredes Pedrosa | 6a Architects | Barclay & Crousse | Amanda Levete | Madelon Vriesendorp | Zaha Hadid

In the midst of the most recent smattering of high-profile sexual harassment charges, the perseverance of the gender pay gap and the emergence of the #MeToo movement, this year’s Women in Architecture issue examines the relationship between architecture and sex and gender.

Jane Rendell sketches out five principles of a feminist approach to critical spatial practice in the 21st century, and Aaron Betsky argues that, in a man-made world, architects must now reimagine their design methods, while artist Rosa Johan Uddoh conjures Serena and Venus Williams’ feminist space of possibility. The unbuilt house Adolf Loos designed for Josephine Baker on the other hand, was a ‘fastidiously confected Modernist peep show’ of erotic gazes and performance. From Queen Elizabeth’s podium to hidden door lock buttons, bias in design can disadvantage women and other demographics to devastating effect.

In the centenary year of women’s suffrage in the UK, portraits of female students of the Architectural Association through the ages traces the relationship between architecture and activism. One alumna, Rosemary Stjernsted, is featured alongside Kate Macintosh and Magda Borowiecka, as we revisit the work of women in London’s local councils in the ’60s and ’70s.

Beatriz Colomina argues that collaboration is the secret life of architecture, with both female and male designers consistently overshadowed by our love affair with the single master architect, perhaps none more famously than Charlotte Perriand who features in this month’s Folio.

Winner of the Women in Architecture Jane Drew Prize in 2012 and on the second anniversary of her death, Owen Hatherley reflects on Zaha Hadid’s ‘explosion of an absurdly fearless, impolite aggressive talent’, while the recent edition of Learning from Las Vegas, by last year’s Jane Drew Prize winner Denise Scott Brown with Robert Venturi and Steven Izenour, is a long overdue reprint of one the most important books of the 20th century.

This year’s Jane Drew Prize winner, Amanda Levete is profiled alongside Dutch artist and designer Madelon Vriesendorp awarded the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize. Four projects shortlisted for the Architect of the Year award include the extension to the Garden Museum nestled in the grounds of Lambeth Palace, two historic houses stitched together in Oropesa, Spain, a timber addition to the Brutalist Churchill College in Cambridge and a dusty red museum in the Peruvian desert. In addition, four exciting emerging architects have been shortlisted for the Moira Gemmil Prize for Emerging Architecture, from Spain, South Africa, Paraguay and South Korea.

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