Architecture Hosts First All-Women Lecture Series

This past spring, the Illinois School of Architecture hosted its first all-female lecture series that included well-known deans, professors, researchers, practitioners, and community activists. Among these prominent women lecturers were Mexican architect Tatiana Bilbao, American author and activist Adrienne Brown, Dean of the Pratt School of Architecture and pedagogic pioneer Harriet Harriss, founder of Community Planning and Design Initiative Africa Nmadili Okwumabua, and author and celebrated architect Ersela Kripa. Topics ranged from trauma-informed design and global urbanism to social and cultural factors in architectural design. The all-women Spring Visiting Lecture Series was conceived after the success of the 2019 Women in Architecture Symposium and Exhibition held at Krannert Art Museum. Organized and curated by Professors Marci Uihlein (BA ’95 LAS, MArch ’00), Sara Bartumeus, and Andrea Melgarejo de Berry, the event brought together an impressive group of researchers and professionals, including nearly 200 alumnae. Coinciding with the symposium, the Krannert Art Museum opened the Revealing Presence: Women in Architecture at the University of Illinois, 1874-2019 exhibit, illuminating the breadth of architectural work by women and their contribution to the built environment. The symposium was awarded Honorable Mention for 2021 Diversity Achievement from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The vision and subsequent impact of the Women in Architecture Symposium planted the seeds for the first all-woman visiting lecture series that was held virtually this year. The first of many more efforts to come, the School of Architecture is committed to elevating the voices of women and underrepresented individuals within the school and the profession.

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