A collaborative archival research initiative by S&T’s Marianne Calvelo with Joy Roxas (design) and Lynda Simmons (curation and research) has been claimed to be the “most substantial survey of women in New Zealand architecture to date” by Dr Julia Gatley in her latest article in SAHANZ 2014.
The timeline compiles a compelling record of profiles of the first generation of NZ’s women architects that have slipped through the cracks and notes significant events that have raised women’s visibility within the profession. This was part of a larger body of study, Marianne’s architectural thesis “MadWomen” in 2013 as a response to the current climate thinking of gender inclusiveness in the architectural profession.
It honours several firsts: plotting as early as 1846, Mrs Reay, wife of a Nelson minister, known to have designed St. John’s Church in Wakefield; Lucy Greenish’s election as an Associate of the NZIA in 1913; Merle Greenwood’s 1933 graduation as the first woman to finish with an Auckland University College architecture degree; Muriel Lamb as the first woman to start her own architectural practice in the 1950s and David and Lillian Chrystal’s 1967 NZIA Bronze Medal for the Yock House, Remuera, Auckland (1964), which Lillian had designed. The timeline also noted the significant increase in the intake of women in Architecture School in 1972. It concludes in 2013 where it featured the formation of the group A+W NZ (www.architecturewomen.org.nz) formed in Auckland to provide an on-going framework for the connection, collegiality and celebration of women and architecture.
The timeline was also presented at the “Between Silos” exhibition held at Silo Park in Auckland as part of the Auckland architecture week on 20-29 September 2013. The timeline had always been envisioned as an on-going “living resource”. A post-graduate seminar course currently runs in University of Auckland to continue building on to this growing body of research of the archives timeline project. The timeline hopes to work towards a more comprehensive and systematic recording of women’s contribution towards the advancement of architectural practice and ensure they are appropriately written into history.
Julia Gatley,”Women in New Zealand Architecture: A Literature Review, “in Proceedings of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand: 31, Translation, edited by Christoph Schnoor (Auckland, New Zealand: SAHANZ and Unitec ePress; and Gold Coast, Queensland: SAHANZ, 2014), 250.