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– call for chapters
Edited by James Benedict Brown (Leicester School of Architecture), Harriet Harriss (Royal College of Art), Ruth Morrow (Queen’s University Belfast), James Soane (Project Orange)
For a profession that claims to be so concerned with the needs of society, the continuing gender imbalance in architectural education and practice is a dirty subject.
Dirty, because it’s been stagnant for some thirty years.
Beyond the profession, the emergence of fourth wave feminism has broken a twenty year drought in the discourse. A new generation of feminist critique is emerging, characterised by a broader civic commitment, one fuelled by the recognition that time and again, women and minorities have been the first casualties of neoliberalism.
Whereas after World War II the architectural profession rallied around its obligation to fulfill a social need, today architecture has all but capitulated its absolute servitude to capitalism. Recognising that feminist thinking is a meaningful response to the inequalities of capitalism, A GENDERED PROFESSION will be a forum for a discussion about the failure of our profession – one that is so explicitly concerned with the design of inclusive environments – to resolve its own inequalities. Contributions will be invited from all corners of the discipline to propose strategies, attitudes and solutions to this crisis in representation.
At stake is more than just the discrimination of women. Male architects suffer from the mechanisms of gender stereotyping, obliged to place professional commitments above those to their family and children. And while three quarters of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual architects report being comfortable being open about their sexuality in the workplace, that number drops to just sixteen per cent when on the building site.
A GENDERED PROFESSION will perform a diagnostic check of the architecture profession from one end of the spectrum to the other. Whereas much has been written on feminism and architecture, the majority is produced exclusively by women. A GENDERED PROFESSION will actively seek gender parity in both its contributions and editorial structure and will not limit its understanding of gender to an either/or analogue.
Provocations are sought from architects, artists, academics, practitioners, students and everyone in between.
Does gender balance in the production of architecture have any impact on the quality of the built environment?
Will gender equality only be achieved through positive discrimination,
such as female-only competitions, practices and building sites?
Is laissez-faire neo-liberalism a more democratic means of achieving gender equality?
Should there be women only prizes in architecture?
Should there be women only spaces in the city? If so why, and who should design them?
Is the existence of successful female architects not proof enough of our profession’s gender diversity?
Can the principles of feminism serve as a useful design tool for interpreting and responding to societal needs?
Why do male, female and TG architects need feminism?
Does leaving the profession to raise a family really hamper your career?
Does feminism help or hinder our understanding of other sexualities?
Do a female architect design differently to a male architect?
Does a LGBT architect design differently to a ‘straight’ architect?
Can feminism be taught as a design methodology?
Is there any point in achieving gender equality in student populations when typically three quarters of all architecture tutors are men?
Our points of provocation are inevitably not comprehensive and we welcome any proposal that engages with any aspect of gender or sexuality with regard to architectural production.
Brief chapter proposals of no more
than 300 words are invited by 10 August 2015 to
email@example.com AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, professional affiliation (if any) and contact details.
NOTE: Please direct any queries to James before 4th August.