Architecture and Feminism by Elizabeth Danze, Debra Coleman

By Elizabeth Danze, Debra Coleman

Over the past numerous many years, feminists and designers have independently built reviews of recent Western assumptions and cultural practices. Architecture and Feminism addresses the intersection of those probably disparate fields via a full of life and various choice of essays and initiatives, together with interdisciplinary investigations of literature, social heritage, domestic economics, and artwork history.

Articles study such various issues as Niki de Saint-Phalles exuberant building-sized girl sculpture Hon, the aesthetics and politics of the Playboy bachelor pad, Edith Wharton's rules on household structure, and the Legend of grasp Manole, a disquieting jap eu folktale that prescribes the ritual entombment of girls within the partitions of structures, whereas visible tasks take recognized buildings by means of Philip Johnson and Louis Sullivan as issues of departure for a feminist interpreting of architectural heritage. instead of featuring a unmarried, didactic place, this assortment deals more than a few clean voices to explain the cross-connections and shared matters among structure and feminism.

Contributors to Architecture and Feminism contain Manuela Antoniu, Vanessa Chase, Deborah Fausch, Molly Hankwitz, Susan R. Henderson, Amy Landesberg, Lisa Quatrale, Christine S. E. Magar, Mary McLeod, and George Wagner.

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M. Harding (Caniliridge: Caniliridge University Press, 1980) and Elizabeth Grosz, Sexual Subversions (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 1989), 1-38. 13 (December 1990), esp. 54-56. 14. Suzanne Moore, "Getting a Bit of the Other: The Pimps of Postmodernism," in Mak Order, eds. Rowena Chapman and jonathan Rutherford (Oxford: Wichart, 1988), 165-92. I am indebted to this strong and witty argument for articulating some of my own long-standing frustrations with the masculine biases of some poststructuralist theory.

49 What has been noted less frequently is that Scott Brown also gives one of the sharpest, and wittiest, critiques of the machismo underlying modern architecture and the profession at large. In Leaming from Las Vegas, the authors characterize the modern movement as "heroic and original," "violent, high adventure," "a bunch of angry young men under MARY McLEOD FIG. 18 Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, Signs of Life: Symbols in the American City. exhibition, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.

It is to claim that women can have a body without being the body. How do these considerations apply to architecture? As an art which directly engages the body, architecture has the potential to be feminist in the sense I have just described. Architecture is involved in forming matter in conformance with ideas; thus it partakes of the rational, the nonmaterial, the ideal. But if the feminine is bodily, has body, this does not prevent it from encompassing reason as well. While architects cannot avoid the 39 40 THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE BODY AND THE PRESENCE OF HISTORY instrumentalization of the material, we can, within the limits of client preferences and budgets, choose the kinds of experience we create.

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