Lost and Found? A Parable of the Architect (Male) and the Academic (Female)

Ruth Morrow, John Fitzgerald

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Abstract

The following text captures an interview, conducted over three evenings, between a practicing architect (male) and an architecture academic (female and feminist). This is a conversation between two long-standing friends who did their Part 3 professional exam together more than twenty-five years ago. Since then, they have taken different career paths and lived lives at different paces and in different places. Every so often they meet over coffee to laugh and argue about architecture, bemoan failures, and share successes.

The academic initiated the interview in order to hear an honest and open account of the career experience of a male architect. She hoped that their longstanding friendship would lead to less guarded responses. The answers to the questions were always going to be personally challenging to the interviewer and possibly to their friendship. The interview is a form of ethnographic study: a structured, qualitative process within a long term, immersed context. But when ‘the immersed context’ is a much-valued friendship, it is a precarious action. Nevertheless, for the future of gendered relationships both protagonists accepted the risks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Gendered Profession
Subtitle of host publicationThe Question of Representation in Space Making
EditorsJames B Brown, Harriet Harriss, Ruth Morrow, James Soane
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRIBA Publishing, London
Pages72-78
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781859469972
Publication statusPublished - 08 Nov 2016

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