Feature: From the BWAF Bookshelf: The Architecture of Careers

BWAF’s book selections for August focus on the way women work within the architectural industry and the unconventional career paths they take.

Book Covers from left to right: Desigining for Diversity, Designing Women, Kyra ^ See below for Photo Credits

Designing for Diversity: Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Architectural Profession

Kathryn H. Anthony
(University of Illinois Press, 2001)

This book surveys the ways in which gender and racial discrimination interfere with an individual’s participation in the workforce. Using data collected from over 400 interviews with practitioners nationwide, Anthony, a professor of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, looks at the industry’s view of familial demands and its effect on an employee’s work schedule. Other issues the book explores include the different approaches used to support underrepresented sectors of the work place and offers ways to make architecture a more diverse profession and one providing equal opportunities for all. For more information on this selection, please visit University of Illinois Press.

‘Designing Women’: Gender and the Architectural Profession

Annmarie Adams and Peta Tancred
(University of Toronto Press, 2000)

The co-authors, an architectural historian (Adams) and a sociologist (Tancred), examine the role of women architects in 20th-century Canada.  Historically, the contributions of women architects to their profession have been minimized or overlooked.  Their book explores the tension that has existed between the architectural profession and its women members. The profession’s own definitions and priorities have often ignored both women’s presence and their widespread contributions.  Too, women have tended toward unconventional architectural career paths leading to marginalization by the profession, and out of history, even though their creative reach and collaborative influence are still felt by the profession.. For more information on this selection, please visit University of Toronto Press.

Kyra: A Novel


Carol Gilligan
(Random House, 2009)

Carol Gilligan, the eminent psychologist, is perhaps most famous for her ground-breaking work in women’s psychology, gender studies, and girl’s development as epitomized in her landmark book, In a Different Voice (1982).  Kyra is the author’s first novel.  Here Gilligan uses her scholarship to explore a 20th-century love story. The reader follows the compelling story of Kyra, an architecture professor, through the emotional and psychological intricacies of the relationships in her life. This is possibly the first novel in which the female protagonist is an architect. Kyra’s architectural project aspires to realize a re-imagined world without violence, gender inequity, or estrangement, while dealing with them in her daily life. Listen to podcast of Carol Gilligan at BWAF / Guggenheim Architecture of Writing Symposium 2009.

For more information on this selection, please visit Random House.

^ Photo Credits: Photos were obtained from publishers’ websites.

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