Architecture: To Gender or Not to Gender?
Gender as a social construct that changes over time affects both the creation and interpretation of architecture. Although it is debatable whether an emphasis on this issue contributes to greater equality, shedding some light on its importance in architecture can be helpful.
This talk will address topics such as the interpretation of forms and spaces in terms of female / male characteristics, the concept of domesticity and modernism, the role of patronesses and their architectural commissions, and the anachronistic notion of architecture as a “gentleman’s profession.” We shall look at reasons for underrepresentation of women in architectural practice and differences across countries.
This talk expands on the Zaha Hadid event presented to the BIS Spouses Section earlier this year. An exceptionally successful, stellar architect Hadid did not like to be referred to as a “woman architect.” “I am an architect, not just a woman architect ... but I see the incredible amount of need from other women for reassurance ... so I don’t mind that at all.” In this spirit, the talk To gender or not to gender will give an overview of work by women architects from Basel, the rest of Switzerland and farther away, including architecture by the only woman who has single-handedly managed to become a player on a par with the world’s male starchitects – the late Zaha Hadid.
Dina Bonefacic-Mihaljek, M.Arch.
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