I would much rather see the career of a figure like Natalie de Blois, a tireless corporate soldier working nearly invisibly at SOM during the 50’s and 60’s, excavated and elevated by academic discourse. She is a true hero for every architect, male and female, who has toiled silently, problem solving, detailing and coordinating the intricate weave of creative and technical requirements that makes a building such an exquisitely intelligent endeavor—a one-off with massive social impact, as opposed to the mass-produced object, the social impact of which is entirely more intimate and individual.
As relates to architectural education, students must understand the value of building design to the field of architecture. It is striking that this last sentence needs to be written at all, but such is the state of architectural education that students might actually wonder if there is any creative content in the design of buildings anymore, or if buildings are simply BIM-generated backdrops for furniture, installation and products or at the opposing scale of “grands projets,” objects for cities. Buildings are an integrated web of technical systems, cultural imperatives and human habitation or, as one man famously said, “architecture is the mother art.” For women to settle for creative leadership in anything but the design of buildings is, in my view, a relinquishing of power at precisely the moment when women can bring special gifts to an embattled profession suffering from corporate agglomeration and social irrelevance.
How to Cite this Article: Richmond, Deborah. “Feminism and Architecture: Rebuttal to Marta Rodriguez,” JAE Online, July 8, 2015, http://www.jaeonline.org/articles/symposia/feminism-and-architecture-1#/.