Eva Franch i Gilabert on Women in Architecture Schools

Head of the Studio Architecture 2 | Future Architectures Platform, Eva Franch i Gilabert, was among the respondents on Archinect, touching on feminist issues in the field.

Eva Franch i Gilabert on Women in Architecture Schools

For women, architecture remains a difficult profession. In a 2020 ACSA report titled, Where are the Women? Measuring Progress on Gender in Architecture, the number of women decreases drastically as they move up the professional ladder. This is also true for architecture academia. While females made up just over half of the students enrolled in NAAB-accredited architecture programs, that figure drops among educators. Of the more than 5,000 design faculty counted in the report, only 38% of them identify as women. Tenure is also disproportionate, with 40% of women in the study having obtained tenure compared to 55% of men. At the top levels of academia, the number of female deans has increased significantly over the last five years, but females only comprise 31% of deans at U.S. and Canadian ASCA member schools.

The interviewees of this article, who advocate for the advancement of women in the field, say that there is much work to be done.

"When I was teaching a seminar called Potential Pedagogies at Princeton, we went with students on an incredible journey to recognize the limitations not only of the content of the curriculum but to [examine] the architectures of the system itself. We started from this question of how could we imagine an architectural education with different entry requirements, questioning current human edifices with no teachers or admin, questioning evaluation systems from grades to teaching evaluations. We asked ourselves, where do these structures come from? What does society need from architects today? [...] I always start every seminar or studio I teach by making a blackboard of conflicts, and so I ask everyone to reflect what are the conflicts within society and the world today? [...] Of course, inequality and gender discrimination are always present because we are, unfortunately, still there."

Eva Franch i Gilabert
Professor, UMPRUM the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design


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