How to Navigate Women Writing Architecture

Lizzie Malcolm of Rectangle, designer of the Women Writing Architecture website, explains how to navigate across it to explore the bibliographical list of citations and its accompanying fields of annotations and collections; how to make and share a Personal Collection; and how to contribute your own suggestions for citations and annotations.


How to make a personal collection

How to contribute your own citations and annotations


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Some Background

Rectangle were commissioned to start working on the website for Women Writing Architecture on Friday 23 October 2020. Their brief contained the following:


Accompanying activist challenges in the commercial and professional world of architecture, academia is currently undergoing a period of scrutiny in terms of gender parity. Although women constitute at least half of student numbers and indeed inhabitants of the world, the female gender is not represented correspondingly in the teaching and academic staff, particularly in the upper echelons, and in the processes of assessment and critique.

This tendency is replicated in what is loosely called the canon of architecture – the paradigms and hierarchies that have been constructed from male perspectives, but which embodies transformation in its nature. This idea of a canon has been the subject of a deliberate process of challenge and dismantling over last 20 years. Nevertheless, many institutions still replicate a traditional canon in their reading lists, and in the defining concepts of paradigm and hierarchy. This resource intends to provide new material that encourages this process of transformation. The interpretative work done through annotation provides ways and means for teachers, writers, architects, students and commissioners to embed this material within their own work.

While the disparity of representation of women in academia is apparent, other important intersectional issues are relevant. The core intent of this project is the creation of an online annotated bibliography of writing about architecture whose authorship is female to serve as a resource. This bibliography is deepened through a process of annotation that produces new content of varying depths.

Both the terms architecture and female are open and flexible, with the intention to bring together different activist groups into conversation. The website creates not a bridge between two opposites (the centre and the edge), but a safe, desirable and encouraging place that provides an alternative to this binary, in which dialogue can flourish.


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Editors: Helen Thomas, Emilie Appercé, Barbara Thüler, with Sarah Handelman; assistants: Thomas Rohrer, Jaehee Shin and Rebecca Reading

First Advisory Board:

Amale Andraos
Adam Caruso
Sarah Handelman
Mary McLeod
Lizzie Malcolm
Nana Biamah-Ofosu

Website design and development: Lizzie Malcolm with Dan Powers of Rectangle

This project was made possible by the support of the Chair of Adam Caruso, Professor for Architecture and Construction, Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich.

Collaborators in the making:

Many thanks to all the people who sent us citations, annotations, reading lists and their thoughts on how to help us begin the Women Writing Architecture annotated bibliography. Their names can be found on the collaborators page, which leads you to their contributions. Our special thanks to the following, with whom our conversations in preparation have been, some continuing to be, especially extensive:

Sonja Flury, Milena Buchwalder, Dorothee Hahn and Larissa Müllner of ProSaffa1958-Pavillon
Yuanye Deng and Lan Yao from JuanZong Books and Eureka! Touring Library
Solange Mbanefo from Matri-Archi
Petra Gehrmann of Baubibliothek ETH Zürich
Niall Hobhouse and Matt Page of Drawing Matter and especially for their support in the publication of Extracts 2: Women Writing Architecture
Emma Letizia Jones for her support at the start
Annmarie Adams for sharing all of her published reviews of books written by women
Mary McLeod and Mary Norman Woods for their generous sharing of contacts


Fair use, this site is for educational purposes only.
The sharing and collation of citations on this website is encouraged. When citing or sharing content, please respect and credit sources.
© Women Writing Architecture 2021