26 March 2021

IAWA – Session 4 – Afternoon

IAWA, 2021

1:00 – JADE SNELLING, IAWA Archivist

This session will focus on how VT archivists collect and manage donations to the International Archive of Women in Architecture. Collections archivist Jade Snelling will briefly delve into the unique history and mission of the IAWA as well as future possibilities for expansion. She will highlight collections, material formats, and the particularities of their care, while also giving an overview of how attendees may prepare to donate their own materials.

1:20 – q&a


Arquitectas Colombianas is a project that seeks to highlight the contributions of women in architecture and design in Colombia. Through the generation of information and the organization, dissemination and promotion of events and publications, we propose a constructive and prospective dialogue on the fields and roles of women in architecture and design.

We have 4 lines of action:

  • Visibility: Recognize the fields, roles, and works of women in architecture and design in Colombia. Ally to Un día / Una arquitecta
  • Archive: Recover archives of the architects and designers, starting with the pioneers.
  • Observatory of inclusion and equity: Study and monitor in Colombia internationally recognized phenomena that affect women in our professions.
  • Community: Consolidate an active community of women working in architecture and design in Colombia.


A few years ago, I received a remarkably astute comment from a student in the evaluation of an undergraduate History and Theory of Modern Architecture course. The anonymous comment read:

I would appreciate a more critical presentation/discussion of the role of female architects…. As a female architecture student, I would like to see some references to a female genealogy of architects in order to see myself reflected historically and to situate myself and my role.

I immediately reviewed my notes and slides and found that, indeed, barely a handful of women were referred to in the lectures – and only tangentially. I responded by preparing a public presentation, as part of my school’s cultural events lecture series, called “Episodes in the Career of Lady Architecture.” The lecture summarized key contributions of a few female architects to twentieth-century architecture and critically reviewed the more general problem of the representation, misrepresentation and sidelining of women in architectural history. The recent article, “The Invisible Women: How Female Architects were erased from history” (Architectural Review, March 2017), tells a similar story.

This year, I was invited to participate in an exhibition devoted to building equality in architecture, as part of a regional design festival. I decided to reinvent the lecture content in a more interactive format by casting each under-represented woman in a deck of playing cards. The deck is arranged roughly by suit: Clubs (trailblazers, whose strength and skill forged new paths for design excellence and equality in modern architecture); Diamonds (precious stone, or bedrock – the first women in various professional and institutional domains, establishing foundations for others); Hearts (passionate partners who are not always credited for their collaborative design work); and Spades (alluring allegories) – as Susana Torre explained in her landmark 1977 exhibition on Women in American Architecture, “Within this scheme, woman is assigned the role of muse, the inspirer, but not of the competitor of man, the creator.”

My presentation for the 1×1 – The Potential of the Singular symposium will summarize this creative project and the importance of playful strategies in advancing a game of change. I will also reflect on the significance of that singularly unique and anonymous student comment that resonated so profoundly with me and motivated this work.

2:20 – q&a


Short video by Inés Moisset, Carolina Quiroga, and Florencia Marciani, from the Ibero American blog UN DIA | UNA ARQUITECTA, and LINA Plataforma. These organizations and initiatives that aim to give visibility to the work of women architects narrate, in this piece, the experience of the paths taken by Nuestras Arquitectas.

3:15 – Closing Remarks + Social

Link to Register for Event