Friday, May 31, 2013
Why have there been no great women [architects]?
For whatever reason, people frequently credit the project to David, and discount Holly's role in the collaboration. Unfortunately, this situation is very common in architecture.
most influential architects of the last forty years, was passed over for the profession's most prestigious award, the Pritzker Prize, when it was awarded to her partner and husband, Robert Venturi in 1991. A petition has been circulating this spring demanding that the Pritzker committee correct its mistake, and hopefully they'll do so, soon. But Scott Brown's case is only the most prominent of a widespread problem in in our culture, which is the presumption that architecture is practiced by men, with women's participation somehow nominal, marginal, token or negligible.
"Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?" Among the insights in Nochlin's article is the observation that the bias, often subconscious, that presumes that all "great artists" have been men carries with it a number of unchallenged assumptions about art that are dangerously misleading. Art, our mythology holds, is reified works made by individual (even solitary) artists endowed with great and mysterious ability (genius) which they often gain at the expense of sanity. This misconception masks the importance of collaboration, for example, and reserves the term "art" for only a narrow range of artistic activity.
coordinated work of dozens of professionals and scores of tradespeople and construction workers. The myth of the heroic, individual genius doesn't just reinforce the misconception that the architect will be male (the gender associated with individualism and genius in Western cultures), it downplays the importance of collectivity and consensus.