- Architecture by women, “Frau Architekt” exhibition at the DAM
The DAM in Frankfurt has dedicated a large exhibition to a hot topic: the role of women as architects. “Frau Architekt”, or “Ms Architect” tells the story that began over 100 years ago, when technical universities first opened their architecture degree courses to women. Despite the difficulties of emerging as a professional architect in a strictly male world, where even now only 30.9% of professionals are women, women architects have made and continue to make an important, innovative contribution to the discipline.
So the DAM goes back to the past to provide a complete overview of “Frau Architekt” showcasing 22 women architects who operated in the 20th century together with their respective works. Among them, Emilie Winkelmann, who, in 1907, was the first woman to open her own architectural office in Germany, while Karola Bloch, wife of the philosopher Ernst Bloch (author of "The Principle of Hope"), supported her exiled family in the United States through her work as an architect.
In the post-war period particularly, the role of women architects in Germany increased in importance, with people like Sigrid Kressmann-Zschach-Losito whose studio had more than 300 employees with whom she carried out major urban projects in Berlin, such as the Stieglitzer Kreisel.
This look at the past links up with the present where women, at least in Germany, account for more than 53% of those enrolled in architecture faculties. This trend is on the increase throughout the world and its knock-on effects could ultimately change the imbalance in architecture, especially as regards the occupation of important positions in offices, professorships and institutional roles.
Another reason for the “Frau Architekt” exhibition is the fact that of the 370 exhibitions that have taken place since the opening of DAM in 1984, about 100 were dedicated to individual men and only four to women architects, which is an additional reason to focus on the role and perception of women architects. The exhibition is still open until 8 March and is accompanied by a full support programme that includes informal talks, films, lectures and a catalogue.
Exhibition “Frau Architekt. Seit mehr als 100 Jahren. Frauen im Architekturberuf” (FRAU ARCHITEKT. Over 100 years of Women in Architecture).
from 30 September 2017 to 8 March 2018
DAM, Frankfurt, Germany
Curators: Mary Pepchinski, Christina Budde, Wolfgang Voigt
Images: Courtesy of DAM