Even before editor and historian Jan Cigliano Hartman began studying the history of architecture in the 1970s, she was well aware of the stark imbalance in printed knowledge between women and men architects. Forty years later and things still hadn’t changed.
"I was Googling general architectural subjects—architects under 40; architects at 80; architecture’s top award winners—and I found that 95 percent or more of the names that came up were men," explains Hartman. "Yet, I knew of plenty of influential work by women. I also knew that many of their stories were buried under the weight of their dominant and more prominent male peers."
It became clear the issue wasn’t going to disappear on its own, so she decided to do something about it. Hartman and Amale Andraos, a New York designer and former dean at the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, are the authors of new book The Women Who Changed Architecture, a collective biography highlighting 122 architects from 28 countries whose works have significantly influenced the trajectory of the built environment. Some names herein will be familiar—Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Florence Knoll, and Zaha Hadid. But many more had gone largely unrecognized despite their impressive achievements and contributions.
"This book will bring female architects into the central narrative," Hartman says. "Students will now hear about Lilly Reich’s pivotal role in the design of Mies van der Rohe’s world-renowned chairs and Barcelona Pavilion, and Anne Tyng’s hand in the interior design of Louis Kahn’s Yale University Art Gallery and Design Center. And what about the many female associates of Frank Lloyd Wright’s studio? They are unsung heroes."
Read on for a sampling of the many works Hartman brings to light, or grab your own copy of the new volume that sets the record straight on the history of modern architecture.
Carol Ross Barney
Mónica Ponce de León
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