Historically, the contributions of women architects to their profession have been minimized or overlooked. 'Designing Women' explores the tension that has existed between the architectural profession and its women members. It demonstrates the influence that these women have had on architecture in Canada, and links their so-called marginalization to the profession's restrictive and sometimes discriminatory practices.
Co-written by an architectural historian and a sociologist, this book provides a welcome blend of disciplinary approaches. The product of much original research, it looks at issues that are specific to architecture in Canada and at the same time characteristic of many male-dominated workplaces.
Annmarie Adams and Peta Tancred examine the issue of gender and its relation to the larger dynamics of status and power. They argue that many women architects have reacted with ingenuity to the difficulties they have faced, making major innovations in practice and design. Branching out into a wide range of alternative fields, these women have extended and developed what are considered to be the core specializations within architecture. As the authors point out, while the profession designs women's place within it, women design buildings and careers that transcend that narrow professional definition.