The International Archive of Women in Architecture at Virginia Tech Aims to Close the Gender Gap

The International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) at Virginia Tech has issued an open call to women architects to submit a seminal design or drawing to the university’s historical collection. The campaign, “A Seminal Piece,” was created to capture and preserve the contributions of women, who are greatly underrepresented, in architecture.

The IAWA contains more than 450 collections and is the only archive in the world dedicated solely to women architects. It was founded in 1985 as a means of addressing the gap in women’s architectural history and education. According to an American Institute of Architects Equity in Architecture Survey report, nearly half of all graduates from American architecture programs are women, but they only represent 22 percent of licensed architects. Additionally, only a small percentage of women hold leadership positions in their firms. The IAWA aims to change those statistics through their events and exhibitions.

For its current project, “A Seminal Piece,” the IAWA has invited women architects worldwide to submit one seminal design or drawing from their body of work to be included in the archives.

“We are searching for women, many of whom are invisible,” said IAWA Advisor Zellner Bassett. “While the archive is quite large and unique, it is very small if you compare it to the actual number of women that have contributed to the profession. We must continue our efforts toward achieving a balanced history.”

Information on the IAWA and how to support the collection can be found here.

Filed Under: Gender Gap


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