Moving Towards Gender Equity in Architecture, Feb. 7

January 21, 2020
The panel discussion will explore how gender issues translate from academic studio to professional studio, and what we can actually do to improve them.
Event Poster

On Friday, February 7, The University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture (UTSOA) will host “Moving Towards Gender Equity in Architecture,” a dialogue among students and a panel of invited guests about gender in the design professions. Organized by students and the Center for American Architecture and Design, the panel discussion will be moderated by UTSOA’s Race and Gender in the Built Environment Fellow Adam Miller and six UTSOA students. Together, they and invited guests, who represent both the academy and the profession, will explore how gender issues translate from academic studio to professional studio, and what we can actually do to improve them.

The panel discussion is free and open to the public, and will take place from 1:00–5:00 p.m. in the Main Jury Room, GOL 2.110 in Goldsmith Hall (310 Inner Campus Drive). This event is made possible by a grant from the Austin Foundation for Architecture.

“This dialogue has been largely student called for, and student led, and it builds on initiatives that are already in progress at the school, such as the ‘Women in Architecture’ panel students hosted last spring,” said Leora Visotzky, Managing Director of UTSOA’s Center for American Architecture and Design. “This event serves to help our students cultivate their own voices around issues that matter to them, and to put them in conversation with people who can guide discussion based on their respective experiences. The hope is that students come away with a clear sense of how they can move change forward in their own studio experience, which they will carry with them into the profession.”

According to a 2018 survey by the American Institute of Architecture San Francisco chapter’s Equity by Design committee and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, female and minority architects and designers earned lower salaries than their white male peers and were less likely to hold positions of leadership. Yet, schools of architecture are increasingly becoming more demographically gender-balanced, indicating that the industry is “losing” certain populations along the way, or that the bridge between academia and practice is broken. With panelists spanning both worlds, this discussion will explore the ways gender issues manifest in both environments, and how to bridge these differences with the formal and informal training students receive in school.

Panelists include:

  • Grace La – Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Principal, La Dallman
  • Shelby Doyle – Assistant Professor, Iowa State University; Founder, Computation and Construction Lab
  • Mabel O. Wilson – Professor, Columbia School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Principal and Founder, Studio &
  • Damon Leverett – Director, National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB); Senior Lecturer, The University of Arizona

“As architects, designers, and planners who are shaping different scales of the built environment, it is imperative that our professions look like the world we serve, which includes all genders,” said Dean Michelle Addington. “Our commitment to diversity guides who we are, what we teach and research, and how we change our disciplines. It enables us to open up new avenues of discourse, and to explore unprecedented opportunities as we bring more voices, more experiences, and more knowledge to bear.”

“Moving Towards Gender Equity in Architecture” is free and open to the public.