Talk:Women in architecture

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New article scope?[edit]

Congratulations on starting a much needed article! Maybe the author, or other interested editors, could comment on the intended scope of the article. Personally, if I had a criticism, I would say it currently reads as an expanded list of women architects through history. Though it is essential to note the pioneers, maybe there is an opportunity to add some more general sections - Why do women leave architecture? What are the barriers? Attitudes to women in architecture? Do women make a difference? There will certainly be published opinions on these topics. Sionk (talk) 12:01, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

You are absolutely right about all this. I put my draft into the mainspace yesterday as (a) I thought the information it contained would already be useful and (b) I thought other editors might like to add to it. I do certainly intend to write a further historical section on developments during the 20th century with a few more names as you suggest. A word on why some countries are more supportive to women than others may be useful too. I think it would also be interesting to have something on architectural man-and-woman partnerships. As for whether women make a difference, they certainly do and are often much more sensitive to the needs of residential accommodation, e.g. practical planning of kitchen space. (This will need further work but I think the info in many of the biographies may be sufficient.) I would also like to expand on some of the difficulties female architects still face on entering the profession and give some background on why so few are successful in going into business for themselves. Unfortunately, although a number of analyses were made in the 1990s and the very beginning of the millennium, there has not been much to go on in recent years. If anyone is aware of any recent studies or statistics, I would be very interested to hear about them. Otherwise we will simply have to rely on blogs. - Ipigott (talk) 14:12, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I'll search for appropriate sources. Like you say, it is early days. Bear in mind that, by selecting disconnected examples of women architects to create an argument, it could be seen as WP:OR, unless we can find sources that claim they are important examples in the grand scheme of things. The Allaback book cited in the List of female architects is very good indeed for an overview of many aspects (though from a US perspective). Sionk (talk) 14:47, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Let's not put the cart before the horse. There are valuable sources in French and German that I could use at a pinch. I've been accused of lots of misdeeds on Wikipedia but original research would be a first. I've always been a stickler for appropriate referencing. The Allaback book is not too bad but as you say it's about Americans and it is limited to the pioneers. What we need above all is good documentation on recent trends. - Ipigott (talk) 17:59, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
I think we're moving in the right direction -- see the Further reading section. But additional sources, especially recent ones, would be welcome. - Ipigott (talk) 18:58, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

As you can probably guess, I disagree. The article reads like a list of potted mini-biographies. As a minimum I think each section needs to begin with a general overview (sourced from general overviews). We are in an enviable position because of the List of female architects (which you have largely created, to your great credit). However, I believe this article needs to take a different direction. On the opposite extreme, the Women in engineering article is sparse, giving a dry appraisal without using any examples. Somewhere in between these extremes would be ideal, in my view. Maybe we should seek wider opinions - I'll raise the topic on WikiProject Architecture. Sionk (talk) 11:55, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm always happy to have constructive comments from you, Sionk, and I do of course agree that we need to go a lot further with this article. I hesitated about putting my initial draft on the mainspace so soon but I decided it would be good to have it there to encourage wider participation. Unfortunately, until now, apart from the few edits you have made yourself and one or two vital corrections by Elekhh, there does not seem to be very much interest. As for the "potted biographies", I did announce some time back that I intended to begin the article alongs the lines of Women in medicine, i.e. beginning with a historical overview and leading into more significant current developments. I have been trying to work along these lines but I am finding it pretty hard going. Above all, I would appreciate inputs from people in the field or, at the very least, pointers to sources I can follow up. I also agree that this article should present a more meaningful overview than the "List of femal architects". And here you are perfectly right: each section needs a better introduction and the lead itself needs to be expanded. In French they say "Qui s'excuse, s'accuse" but I do feel that I have tried to get things moving and hope that the damage I have done to date will not present too much of a problem as the article expands (or adapts). I too would appreciate further comments on how we should go forward. - Ipigott (talk) 16:20, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I have now looked at Women in engineering and am rather surprised you give it as an example to be followed. I much prefer the approach taken in Women artists or Women in Church history and think we could move in that direction as time (and resources) permit. - Ipigott (talk) 16:31, 24 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't think there is a huge problem with scope. I think this article can be expanded, of course, but its scope is wide; it can handle more info. Binksternet (talk) 15:05, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Binksternet. Good to have a reaction from such an experienced editor. Then I'll continue to expand along the lines I have proposed. If anyone else objects to the "potted biographies" I would be happy to cut down a bit on the explanations and just incorporate a few names in each of the sections in the hope that people will look up the individual biographies. However, when I look at similar articles myself, I am more than happy to read about some of the more important players with some telling details. I have in fact tried to include a few snippets which reflect on attitudes towards the place of women in architecture but from some of the comments I have received, this might not be as effective as I had hoped. Maybe this will all become clearer as the article is expanded. - Ipigott (talk) 21:23, 25 April 2012 (UTC)


I've added an introductory sentence to the lede paragraph, which previously seemed to place a lot of emphasis on women as qualified practitioners (though I accept the fact that the majority of the article currently concentrates on this aspect).
While at my local university library yesterday I came across the book Women's Places: Architecture and Design 1860-1960 by Brenad Martin and Penny Sparke. It has a particularly interesting first chapter about a couple of early women clients, documenting their input, as well as attitudes to them by their male counterparts. It would be good, at some point, to add a section about "Women clients" - Wilbraham and Susan Lawrence Dana have already been mentioned. Sionk (talk) 14:20, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

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"In light of an avalanche of scholarly works and archival evidence"[edit]

I must insist on seeing a respected source cited in which the author says that women were a significant presence in architecture in Medieval times, and in the Renaissance. Binksternet (talk) 16:07, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I have left a message with Lesibyl requesting clarification. If nothing within 24 hours, the addition should be removed. But we are dealing with a new editor and therefore should show a little patience. - Ipigott (talk) 19:26, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Patience, certainly. I would be happy to learn of such a source; surprised and pleased. It would flip the usual thinking on its head. Binksternet (talk) 20:09, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Break out partnerships?[edit]

I really appreciate this page and am glad to see it moving away from list mode. I haven't contributed because I'm not an expert in this field, but I have been working on putting up individual biographies of pioneering American women architects. I am wondering if it might make sense to break out the section on partnerships to a separate page, keeping only a basic overview here? It's a very long and listlike section in its current form.Alafarge (talk) 21:47, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

update & re-characterize or replace leading statistics[edit]

Salient in the intro there's been statement based on 2012 access to Garry Stevens webpage:

However, despite the fact that some 40% of architecture graduates in the western world are now women, not more than 12% are estimated to be practicing as licensed or registered architects.[1][2]


  1. ^ Garry Stevens. "Women in Architecture". Retrieved 2012-04-16. 
  2. ^ Suzanne Stephens, "Not Only Zaha. What is it like to be a female architect with a solely owned firm in the U.S. today?", Architectural Record, December 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2012.

and I have added a reprise of that in the Recent statistics far below:

As noted far above, in 2012 it was estimated that while about 40% of architecture graduates in the western world were women, only about 12% were estimated to be practicing as licensed or registered architects.[1]


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference stevens was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

However, I really wondered about what the "12 percent" was about: that 12% of those graduates go on to practice as a licensed or registered architect? or that 12% of practicing and licensed or registered architects in the western world are women? From looking at the current Garry Stevens webpages, I'm guessing it could have been justified to say something like: "While about 40% of architecture graduates in UK, US, Australia have been women for quite some time, only about 12% of licensed or registered architects in those countries are women" (but this is my guess, not supported by access to the 2012 webpage).

Question 1: Can the assertion be revised to clarify what the "12 percent" is about, and to verify it supports claim being about the western world?

A: Perhaps the 2012 webpage is available from wayback machine? Update: Yes, there are snapshots saved at several dates during 2012, including this one from January 3, 2012. It seems a lot like current Part 2, and doesn't support "western world" or other parts of current article assertion. Seems like my guess of what would be justified would be okay, though.

Currently at the URL,, there's now a Part 1 webpage titled "Women in Architecture 1 : First Thoughts". It doesn't report either of the 40% and 12% statistics.

And now there's a Part 2, titled "Women in Architecture 2: Squish Those Big Swinging Dicks", at It overlaps with what was in Part 1 back in 2012. Excerpts now are:

  • "US data: The graph below shows the proportion of female graduates from US architecture schools, using the most recent data we have. Quite a solid steady climb in the proportion of women from 1970 to the early 1980s, but then we see the ratio gently bump into the fabled glass-ceiling. Though the 2000s, the ratio has settled into the 40-44% range." [chart omitted here]
  • "Australian data: Over the past ten years, the big expansion in architecture students in our own Australia has come from a female influx. In 1984 only 21% of architecture graduates were female; in 1996 this had grown to 35%, and the proportion is closer to 40% today."
  • "UK data: In the United Kingdom, 38% of graduates are women."
  • "Female architects: where are they? : A prime mystery is: what happens to these female graduates? In the USA, the UK, and Australia, about 35% to 40% of architecture graduates have been women for between 10 and 20 years. We should expect to see something like that ratio reflected in the data for practising or registered architects. The data we can find suggests that women graduates do not spend long in the occupation. True, the data is scant and spotty, but it is all we have."
  • [omitted passage and table about female participation in various occupations in the U.S.]
  • "In the United Kingdom, only 12% of registered architects are women. Data for registered or licensed architects from the USA is difficult to obtain, thanks to state-based registration: one estimate puts it at about 9% (source: Fowler and Wilson, 2004). The same problems apply to Australia."

Question 2: What do the current Garry Stevens' webpage(s) support saying now?

Perhaps: "Although it is estimated that about 40% of architectural school graduates in the U.K., U.S., and Australia are women, women seem to leave the field: the proportion of licensed or registered architects who are women is much lower: only about 12% in the U.K. and lower in the U.S. and Australia."[1]

--doncram 19:46, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Further, there are other estimates of higher women percentages, including involving Garry Stevens, e.g. "Yet in 1995, only 8.9% of registered architects and 8.7% of tenured faculty in the United States were women.” / "Fifteen years later women comprised 17% of US registered architects (an increase of 8.1% – although Garry Stevens suggests that if we include unregistered professionals it may be closer to 24%)." from this source, from footnote 77 used elsewhere in this wikipedia article. --doncram 20:52, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

Further additions[edit]

Hi, we can list further information or architects here, that could be included later on.

  • Anna Klingmann (born 1965), theorist of brandism, the connection of branding and architecture

-- Cheers, Horst-schlaemma (talk) 16:27, 7 May 2015 (UTC)


Does anyone have suggestions on restructuring this article? I've been searching around different Women in film, etc pages (I've just added the portal template) to see if there is some type of consensus, which i have not seen yet. Some have broken it up by century, for example. I would propose grouping early/notable achievements by group: practitioners, graduates, partners/ principles, academics, exhibitions, and awards (maybe clients). Then I would make a section for potential reasons for marginalization or criticisms, which include the partnerships with men, women's influence, and statistics. Does anyone else find the organisation confusing?Fred (talk) 17:43, 20 October 2016 (UTC)