Call for Papers – Architectural Theory Review – vol 17, issue 2, July 2012
‘Resigned accommodation and usurpatory strategies’: Women, Practice, Architecture


In this special issue of ATR, contributors are  invited to address the material and cultural constraints and the social relations that condition women’s participation and progression in architectural practice today.

Is it true that ‘the route towards equal participation of men and women in the architectural profession is likely to be arduous’?’ As Fowler and Wilson ask, ‘[w]hat deeper structural continuities explain why the profession of architecture continues to be such unfavourable territory for women?’ Could it be that the self-perception among architects, of a profession that is progressive, liberal, and meritocratic, is actually a barrier to equality – is there a discrepancy between ‘the egalitarian rhetoric of architecture and its backstage realities’? What modes of ‘resigned accommodation’ are practised by women architects, and what ‘‘usurpatory’ strategies’ do they undertake to ‘challenge male monopolies’?

Approaches are invited from the history and theory of architecture, and feminist architectural theory. Interdisciplinary perspectives are particularly solicited with analyses originating in scholarly disciplines outside of architecture, including the sociology of work, gender studies, management studies, organizational behaviour, feminist theory, ethical philosophy, and others.  Comparative perspectives which make associations and distinctions between architecture and other professions and models of work are also invited. Case studies and comparisons between different international contexts, and different historic periods, are also welcome. Innovative modes of scholarship including visual research are encouraged.

Specific questions and approaches might include:
·      What effects have the policy and initiatives of professional associations and institutions had on gender equity in architectural practice? What effects have broader government policies had?

·      What has been the effect of legal regulation and registration of the profession on gender equity?

·      How is gender equity in architecture affected by shifts in the wider economy, particularly recession – are male and female architects equally vulnerable in times of financial crisis?

·      How has feminist architectural theory been taken up or resisted by women architects in practice? What have been the pragmatic consequences of feminist architectural theory?

·      Examinations of the design and implementation of strategies to improve women’s workforce participation in architecture, their retention and advancement to senior levels of the profession

·      Examinations of how gender participates in the development and reproduction of professional identity in architecture, and the ways in which the image of the profession is gendered

·      Examinations of how gender features in innovation in the practice and design of architecture; what are the economic and other benefits of gender diversity in architecture?

·      Examinations of why women leave the architectural profession, and where they go

·      Ethnographic studies of architectural office practice and culture

If you wish to contribute to this open call, please contact Naomi Stead ( in the first instance to register your interest and receive an electronic copy of the keynote article. All texts selected for publication will be subject to a process of double blind review and independent proofreading. Full papers should be submitted via the journal’s website: The deadline for submission of full texts is 8 January 2012.

Naomi Stead is Co-editor, Architectural Theory Review