In Architecture Of what historic and contemporary concern is it that the architectureprofession has been, and continues to be, strongly male dominated in Australia(currently 90% of registered architects in NSW are men). Ideally, whatproportion of the profession should women occupy and why? From the start ofhuman history, we always experience certain level of inequality between sexes. It can be seen everywhere around the world and is a concern to everyone, bothmen and women.
This inequality is an important issue within the workforce ofmany professions, such as being an architect, landscape architect, city plannersand designers within the built environment. Industrial revolution is the onsetfor women to become segregated from home, creating greater spatial division toimpact on gender roles. There is common concept between the relationship ofpublic and private space with male and female as described by Kate Lyons. This model represents the suburbanisation occurring in the late 19thcentury and the early 20th century.
Many suburban women are forced within theirdaily activities due to the constraints on accessibility and mobility inlow-density suburbs and lead to a feeling of being isolated from the inner city. These constraints of this gender role affect the women’s ability in the broaderprofessions within the built environment, as they were restricted at home. ” Architects do not like to employ women in their offices; contractorsdo not like to build from their plans; people with money to spend do not like toentrust its expenditure to a woman. ” This is probably due to the fact thatwomen are kept at home without ‘knowing much’ of the ‘outside world’; the designprofessions have intrigued women into marginal roles.
Architects and othersimilar professional fields “have perceived women not as profession but aspassive clients. ” From these, women are users of the designed builtenvironment as there are only few to have the opportunity to design them. Thisforces women to adapt to the way environments have been designed (by men). Thereis a concern where many women architects, landscape architects, planners,builders and designers such as Catharine Beecher, Louise Bethune. Eileen Gray,Julia Morgan, and others are not formally identified with professions. Many oftheir works have been credited to their male colleagues.
Another concern is thatthere is a lack of sensitivity towards women’s needs within the builtenvironment. Design strategies and schemes often fail to consider women as adisadvantage group with exclusive needs, many of these needs are inadequatelymet or even un-met. This was evident in several Local Environmental Plans andDevelopment Control Plans of the Sydney Metropolitan area that had notidentified women as a disadvantage group to be included amongst the handicappedand elderly in design issue. Having considered women’s issues within the builtenvironment, in concluding one must ask are the fundamentals of professions ofthe built environment gender biased? Whilst the outcomes of these are genderbiased, the fundamentals of planning require subsequent analysis in order toresolve the question. ” not only do men and women view a common worldfrom different perspectives, they view different worlds as well. ” Theissues raised are not subject to strictly to women, but men also experience themthough with less intensity.
In addressing these issues a gender sensitiveenvironment will be beneficial to all. Bibliography 1. Allen, J. , Evidence and Silence: Feminism and the Limits of History in FeministChallenges, 1986. 2.
Freestone, R. , Florence Taylor: The Lady Town Planner ofLoftus Street in New Planner, Dec 1991. 3. Hanna, B.
, Florence Taylor’s Hats inArchitecture Bulletin, Oct 1986. 4. Hanna, B. , Three Ferminist Analyses of theBuilt Environment in Architectural Theory Review, vol. 1, no.1, April 1996.Architecture