Two institutions are seeking architectural talent. One is Woodbury University, where curators Jayna Zweiman and Christian Stayner are mounting a show of women-designed architecture. The other is the AIA/LA where members (and noted LA architects) John Friedman, Li Wen and Warren Techentin are calling on architects of all stripes to enter a talent competition that will judged by such luminaries as Neil Denari, AIA (Neil M. Denari Architects), Lisa Iwamoto, AIA (IWAMOTOSCOTT Architecture), Mia Lehrer, FASLA (Mia Lehrer + Associates), and Geoff Manaugh (BLDG BLOG).
The Woodbury Exhibit, entitled “13.3% is an exasperated reply to those who say, ‘there are no women making architecture,’” is a provocative concept — as acknowledged by the curators themselves (see below).
Many women architects acknowledge the challenges of working within the male-dominated building industry, but at the same time are reluctant to define their work by gender. I shall be interested to see if this exhibit makes the argument that architecture by women is inherently different than that of men (what about, say, the Aqua Tower, left, by female Chicago architect Jeanne Gang?). I should also be interested — if one believes in the value of gender or ethnicity-specific shows — to find out the percentage of African-Americans or Latinos in architecture. I suspect that it is even less than the 13.3% female representation. But I should add the Woodbury has to moral authority to mount this show. When I was there recently, the architecture school’s director told me that Woodbury was the first school in the region to allow women students!
Anyway, below is a description by the curators:
13.3%… adopts the conceptual structure of curator Lucy Lippard’s landmark 1973 exhibition of conceptual art, c. 7,500, in which each work fit in a standard manila envelope. Lippard’s exhibition contested the belief that there were no women making conceptual art at the time — and she did so by mailing evidence of this work directly to the gallery for display.
Nearly forty years after Lippard exhibited her “exasperated reply,” 13.3%… provides a space and form in which to consider the issue of gender in contemporary architecture culture. The exhibition will open in December 2010 at The Project Space at WUHo (Woodbury University Hollywood Exhibitions), prominently located on Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk-of-Fame in Los Angeles, California.
13.3%… solicits contributions of any perspective and in any format surrounding the theme of gender within the practice of architecture. There is only one rule: submitted materials must arrive to the gallery in a standard manila envelope (9 by 12-inch) postmarked by November 20, 2010. Additional information and a required entry form are available on the exhibition’s website: