Women In Architecture
The Women in Architecture Student Organization (WIASO) was formed in the fall of 2017 by a group of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Minnesota. WIASO’s primary goals are to work to counteract unconscious cultural bias that permeates through academia and the profession, and to engage issues within the field of architecture related to diversity and the advancement of gender equity.
The group recently completed an exhibition in partnership with the Goldstein Museum of Design titled Gendering Architecture, Architecting Gender, that showcases historic and contemporary female architects. The exhibition is located in the HGA Gallery of Rapson Hall at the University of Minnesota and will be on display until February 3, 2019.
Below is an excerpt from an interview with WIASO published on the UMN’s College of Design website:
What inspired WIASO to create this exhibition?
We are interested in learning about female figures in the architectural profession and publicizing work of women in the field. During our initial kick-off event, we profiled several female architects, displayed statistics describing the lack of equity in the field, and shared architecture books written by women. We received feedback about the group’s goals and aspirations and Assistant Professor Daniela Sandler (Architecture) suggested we expand this idea into an exhibition showcasing this information in Rapson.
Why do you think it is important for people to see this exhibition?
We want students, faculty, and professionals to acknowledge the contributions of female architects who have been dismissed, belittled, or denied credit for their work. By looking at architectural movements from a critical feminist perspective, one is able to reimagine history around marginalized identities and redefine what it means to be an architect. The exhibition is a glimpse of a shared history among female architects at the University of Minnesota, one that architecture students are learning about and contributing to daily.
What do you want people to take away from this exhibition?
As female and non-binary students of architecture, we are often presented with standards and precedents established and created by men. We hope this exhibition highlights some of the many women who should be studied and represented more fully in academia and the profession.
To coincide with WIASO’s exhibition, Mary Guzowski, professor at the School of Architecture, showcases her work through an exhibition titled Art of Architectural Daylighting. Based on her book, the exhibition presents twelve case studies in which Mary explores how contemporary architects have bridged the poetic and practical dimensions of daylighting design. There will be a public opening reception to celebrate Mary’s work and WIASO’s exhibition on September 19 from 5:30-6:30 PM in the HGA Gallery.