Histories, Archives, and the Lack thereof: Constructing Stories of Women in Architecture
This session examines the life and practice of Minnette de Silva and Wang Chiu-hwa, bringing to light the under-represented transnational experiences of these women architects in the post-war period. The challenges of writing their histories due to missing or hidden archives signal the need for alternative criteria, narratives, and sources with which to reappraise the contributions and identities of women in architecture.
Thinking, Writing, and Building: Mediating Architectural Publics
Addressing architecture beyond building, this session highlights the important contributions of women as editors, writers, researchers, and curators through publications and activities of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects. Taking the now-defunct architecture magazine Vision and the work of the professional institute as the point of departure, these conversations reflect on the intersection of design practice and the documentation and dissemination of architecture.
Negotiating, Building, and Preserving: Serving the Public
This session delves into the often overlooked participation of women architects in public service, particularly in the areas of civic engagement and built heritage. Taking as examples public projects commissioned by the Housing Authority and the Architectural Services Department in Hong Kong, speakers discuss how individual autonomy and social values—including those that relate to sustainability and community welfare—come into play in a collaborative design process as compared to independent studio practices.
Building, Designing, and Drawing: Individual and Collaborative Practices
This session focuses on women pursuing private architectural practice both as individuals and in collaborative partnerships. From honing skills to establishing an office, and from shaping a professional design identity to sustaining a practice, women architects face challenges with regard to authorship, empowerment, exercising authority, and negotiating different economies of time and energy.