Beyond the Pritzker: On the Status of Women in Architecture

Nancy Levinson, editor of Places Journal, argues that it's time for feminist architects to engage the larger sphere of political activism with concrete objectives.

July 31, 2013, 8:00 AM PDT

By Places Journal


Lately the subject of women's status in architecture — long dismissed as essentialist and unnecessary — has bounded back onto the agenda. As recent articles, books, exhibitions, online discussions and petition campaigns all attest, the full integration of the profession remains a fraught and unfinished business.

On Places, editor Nancy Levinson argues that it's time to engage the larger sphere of political activism — to translate the widespread awareness of tenacious inequality into an ongoing campaign with concrete goals.

"My own conviction," she writes, "is that the most meaningful prolonged response to the Pritzker — but much more, to the entrenched discrimination it both reflects and reinforces — will involve political action directed toward measureable change. It will involve ramping up the current professional and cultural conversation — now focused on sharing experiences, promoting awareness, influencing leaders in the field — and articulating specific goals, definable outcomes."

"In other words, it will involve not only waiting for the slow drip of cultural change to weaken longstanding frameworks but also pressing for solutions that are structural. And indeed, there is an obvious structural goal to be championed here in the U.S.: comprehensive family leave." 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 in Places Journal

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