This year’s theme for the Women in Architecture programme is derived from the Three Colours film trilogy, Blue, White, Red, by Krzysztof Kieślowski, which represents the three political ideals of Liberty, Equality, Fraternity/ Sorority…but how does this identify with Women in Architecture?
In 2018,the film “She Draws: She Builds”, a 30-minute documentary on women’s experiences in architecture, was first screened in 10 venues across the UK by the RIBA to celebrate International Women’s Day. This film gave rise to questions about the then dormant Women in Architecture group, some of whose founders and early leaders were interviewed in the film. Along with the #MeToo movement and the Gender Pay Gap press, which have raised worldwide interest in gender equality, it seemed like the right time for Women in Architecture UK to re-engage.
“WiA strives to promote, advance and celebrate women’s on-going contribution to architecture. We aim to raise the profile, represent the views and promote the progression of women in architecture and the built environment professions.”
The architects and film-makers Anna Schabel, Sarah Akibogun and Chloe Tayali now head up the Women in Architecture UK network, supported by a steering committee of committed and engaged women who work in the architectural space.
“We are pushing to disrupt the familiar narrative of architectural history, from which women are largely omitted and obscured, by supporting, inspiring and championing women in architecture and diversity in architecture as a whole.” – WIA manifesto
And disrupt the familiar narrative they are: by abstracting the theme from Kieślowski’s Three Colours Trilogy, the WIA have created a platform for three key events for 2019: Blue, White, Red.
“Blue: Liberté: how do Women Experience External Spaces?” was their first event, held in collaboration with the London Festival of Architecture and the RIBA on Wednesday 26th June. This series of presentations studied external spaces; exploring the creation and reaction to spaces and their intellectual and physical significance.
With a mixed agenda of film and speakers the conversation ranged from community design projects and engagement, drawing parallels with the hit TV series “Killing Eve”, digital technology, diversity of space, to the material connection of urban fabric. You can read and see more about this event and the thought provoking talk by Jane Briginshaw here:
The next event in the series, to be held on Tuesday 10th October, will see the launch of White: Égalité: Women on the Edge, where the WIA will once again delight and inspire with a mix of film, comedy and dialogue about transactional and in-between spaces. Expect mental health, the gender pay gap, and the breaking down of boundaries through our work.
Further information: https://www.wia-uk.org/events-1/2019/9/6/three-colours-white-egalit-women-on-the-edge
To book tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/three-colours-white-egalite-women-on-the-edge-tickets-71516326257
To follow in November will be the final instalment: Red: Fraternity/Sorority: Blood. This event will explore how people from diverse backgrounds, including immigrants, identify themselves. We also celebrate the importance and diversity of what ‘home’ means to individuals. Talks will be around the narratives of the Victorian house, history of domesticity, inclusion, immigration, sense of home, celebration of the value of domestic extension and small-scale work.
To get in touch with the Women in Architecture group please visit the website: https://www.wia-uk.org
To get up to date news on events make sure to join the mailing list or the LinkedIn Group (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12123944/).
They are also keen to talk to those interested in getting involved in the WIA group behind the scenes or to participate in future events: https://www.wia-uk.org/join-us