We are presenting some interesting ideas from The Plan Journal’s theme of “Gender Matters.” In the first article “The Role of Women in the Culture of Dwelling: Urban Spaces at Play in the Projects of Jacoba Mulder and Marjory Allen, Lady Allen of Hurtwood,” the author Paola Di Biagi explains that “there are many female architects and urban planners who have contributed to the development of disciplines aimed at improving the daily lives and social relations of many citizens.” In the second article “On the Work of Lisbeth Sachs: From the Aesthetic to the Environmental Impact of Architecture,” Stamatina Kousidi describes the influence of Sachs’ work. In the third article “Women’s Work: Attributing Future Histories of the Digital in Architecture,” the authors Shelby Doyle and Nick Senske “argue that the integration of digital tools into architectural design offers a new space for more equally attributing, documenting, and counting labor and contributions to the discipline.”
Finally, we share some thoughts about The Women Who Changed Architecture.
In the article “The Role of Women in the Culture of Dwelling: Urban Spaces at Play in the Projects of Jacoba Mulder and Marjory Allen, Lady Allen of Hurtwood,” the author Paola Di Biagi looks at the work of “Dutch urban planner Jacoba Mulder and the English landscape architect Marjory Allen, Lady of Hurtwood.”
Paola Di Biagi, book cover of Planning for Play by Lady Allen of Hurtwood, 1968. Courtesy of © the Author.
Di Biagi explains:
Today, their reinterpretation can inspire interesting insights into contemporary city design and wider general reflections on the culture of dwelling and the design competence of women. A competence that, be it “expert” or “common,” can make public space more habitable for all.
In the article “On the Work of Lisbeth Sachs: From the Aesthetic to the Environmental Impact of Architecture,” Stamatina Kousidi describes Sachs’ projects:
Ethereal yet grounded, contemplative yet accessible, the Kunsthalle Pavilion linked diverse spatial atmospheres and advanced the relationship between form and function. It revealed a virtuosity in the use of materials, and the exploitation of their physical properties, in the creation of formal relations and the deviation from the rigid orthogonal canon, as well as in the correlation between inside and outside, and the study of the effective insertion of the building in its surroundings. These design strategies would find an early expression in the competition project for the new Kurtheater in Baden (1939; 1951-52),5 which would earn Sachs her first public commission.
Stamatina Kousidi, Lisbeth Sachs with Otto Dorer, Kurtheater, Baden (Switzerland), 1951-52. Entrance view. Courtesy of © gta Archiv/ETH Zurich.
Developed while she was still working on her diploma thesis at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich,6 the project would allow her to establish a personal design language: one which was rooted in the Swiss architectural tradition, but reinterpreted its attachment to abstraction, solidness, and material expression in an innovative manner.
5 It was Sachs’ first public commission to be executed nearly a decade later, after the conclusion of World War II. The project was executed in collaboration with the architect Otto Dorer, the winner of the second prize of the competition. The fact that the first prize was assigned to a woman architect, let alone a young one (Sachs was twenty-five years old at that time and in her graduation year), accentuates its significance. The year of the SAFFA exhibition coincided with the setup of Sachs’ own studio in Zurich at 50 Rämistrasse – a few steps away from the Kunsthaus, the University of Zurich and the main building of the ETH Zurich.
6 Sachs graduated in 1939 under the supervision of Otto Rudolf Salvisberg.
In the article “Women’s Work: Attributing Future Histories of the Digital in Architecture,” the authors Shelby Doyle and Nick Senske argue that the digital “space allows for a more rich and inclusive narrative of contributions to architectural production for the future.”
Doyle and Senske, attribution frameworks could also be used to capture and communicate equity successes in architecture. For example, architect Jeanne Gang closed the gender wage gap at her firm and calls pay inequity “architecture’s great injustice.” Would we value buildings differently if we could not view them outside of the context of whether architects were paid fairly? Or construction workers were kept safe? Courtesy of © the Authors.
Doyle and Senske’s essay is a “thought experiment about the potential uses of data collection methods to provoke questions about architectural labor and its attribution, specifically questions of gendered labor and gender inequity.”
The long-awaited Women Who Changed Architecture is hot off the press!
We would like to congratulate TPJ’s board member, Mónica Ponce de León for her recognition in the book!
Author/Editor: Hartman, Jan Cigliano (Author) - Willis, Beverly (Author) - Andraos, Amale (Author)
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Pub Date: 31/03/2022
Dimensions(mm): 254(h) * 191(w)
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