Mission Statement

The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) is working to change the culture of the building industry so that women’s work, whether in contemporary practices or historical narratives, is acknowledged, respected and valued. BWAF achieves its mission by documenting women’s work, educating the public and transforming industry practice through collaborations with museums, professional organizations and other groups in the areas of architecture, design, landscape, engineering, technology, real estate and construction. BWAF is a national research and educational non-profit 501(c) (3) organization.

Founded in 2002, after two years of investigating current practices within the present culture of the building professions, including engineering and construction, the Foundation embarked on a grant program for individuals and national organizations that support its mission. Core programs now include education, research—both historical and interdisciplinary—and outreach. BWAF hopes to broaden our collective understanding about the many different roles women have in shaping the places and spaces in which we live and work, as well as to ensure a vibrant future for all women involved in all aspects of the building professions.

Documenting Women’s Work
Women of 20th – Century American Architecture Collection–will preserve–with the support of a matching grant from the National Endowment for the Arts–the legacies of the pioneering women who shaped the built environment, housed in the online database, Dynamic National Archive (DNA), with over 1200 names covering all 50 states.

Educating the Public
Museum Programs–creating public conversations–previously at The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, recently at the Detroit Institute of Art and annually with the National Building Museum, Washington, D.C.

Films & Tours–creating educational resources and onsite experiences about women and the ways they have contributed to shaping our built environment. Films include “A Girl Is A Fellow Here”: 100 Women Architects in the Studio of Frank Lloyd Wright (2009); and BWAF support for “Radiant Sun: Designer Ruth Adler Schnee,” and “EAMES: The Architect and The Painter,” 2012 Peabody Award winner.

Transforming Industry Practice
Industry Leaders Roundtable–a program comprised of principals or partners of some of the world’s largest architecture, engineering and construction firms selected by the Foundation to develop strategies to improve advancement of women leaders in the building industry.

Collaborations–engaging and working with other groups and professional organizations in the areas of architecture, design, technology, engineering, real estate and construction.

The Foundation also works in collaboration with a number of national member organizations which include: Professional Women in Construction (PWC), the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and its Women’s Leadership Council, the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Archive, the International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA). Additionally, BWAF is included among the workforce alliances of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).