A Gendered Profession: The Question of Representation in Space Making

Ruth Morrow (Editor), Harriet Harris (Editor), James Soane (Editor), James Brown (Editor)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    A Gendered Profession, RIBA Publications, Oct 2016

    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 difficult subject. Difficult, because it’s been stagnant for some thirty years. This book seeks to change that.
    Beyond the profession, the emergence of fourth wave feminism has broken a twenty-year drought in the discourse[1]. 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 neo-liberalism.
    Whereas after World War II the architectural profession rallied around its obligation to fulfil 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 have been sought and responses elicited from all corners of the discipline to propose strategies, attitudes and solutions to this crisis in representation.
    At stake is more than just the lack of female representation. Male architects suffer from the same ingrained 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 transsexual architects report being comfortable about 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 aim to 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 has worked hard towards gender parity in both its contributions and editorial structure and therefore does not limit its understanding of gender to an either/or analogue. The chapters featured in the book are written by artists, academics, practitioners and students.
    Through its diverse authorship, this book will provide the first ever attempt to move the debate beyond the tradition of gender-partitioned diagnostic or merely critical discourse on the gender and wider inclusivity debate towards something more propositional, actionable and transformative.

    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherRIBA Publishing, London
    Number of pages280
    ISBN (Print)9781859469972
    Publication statusPublished - 08 Nov 2016


    • Profession
    • Gender
    • architecture

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