Where are the Women Architects?


Where are the Women Architects?

Author: Thomas J. Morton

Senior Lecturer, Architectural Studies Program, History of Art and Architecture

While approximately 50% of architecture students in the United States are women, the number of women who are practicing architects is a fraction of that number. And, the number of women in leadership positions for architecture firms is a fraction of that fraction. One can ask, Where are the Women Architects?, and this topic is the focal point of a series of events occurring March 26-28, 2020 at the University of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Library – Oakland. The Architectural Studies Program in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Pitt and Women+ in Design PGH are organizing the events. Despina Stratigakos, who authored the book, Where are the Women Architects? (Princeton University Press, 2016), will offer a free, public lecture on this topic on Thursday, March 26th at the University Club in Oakland (the lecture starts at 6:30pm). Stratigakos is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Buffalo and Vice-Provost for Inclusive Excellence. Mary Beth McGrew, the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Design, Planning, and Real Estate at the University of Pittsburgh, will introduce Stratigakos. Following her lecture, Stratigakos will be joined for a Q & A by Lori Brown, Professor of Architecture and Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Syracuse University. A reception in the University Club will follow.

On Friday, Brown and Stratigakos will speak at a breakfast organized by the Women’s Leadership Initiative of the Urban Land Institute and will meet with students and faculty at the University of Pittsburgh throughout the day. On Saturday, March 28th Lori Brown will oversee a free, public Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at the Carnegie Library in Oakland (10am-2pm). The event is open to the public, and no previous experience with edit-a-thons is necessary. The goal of the edit-a-thon is to add as many entries as possible to Wikipedia for women designers  – a group that is woefully underrepresented in Wikipedia. If you change the web, you change the world.

These events have many sponsors, including Pitt’s Year of Creativity, the Department of History of Art & Architecture at Pitt, the Architectural Studies Program at Pitt, the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) at Pitt, Women+ in Design PGH, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the Oakland Business Improvement District (OBID), and the Urban Land Institute Pittsburgh – Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Emily Pierson-Brown, Associate at Perkins Eastman - Pittsburgh, and Thomas J. Morton, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History of Art & Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, organized the events.

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