The Representation of Women in Architecture: Shedding a Light on the Contributions of Isabel Roberts and Marion Mahony Griffin

Date

2024

Authors

Kraeger, Jill

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Worldwide access

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Abstract

Historically, the information needed to accurately tell the stories and contributions of women within the field of architecture and design, is lacking. Women practiced architecture around the turn of the 20th century, despite numerous obstacles, however, their stories and contributions are often buried under those of their male counterparts or simply lost and forgotten. As a result, this study highlights two critical women in the field of architecture—Isabel Roberts and Marion Mahony Griffin—both employees of Frank Lloyd Wright, and two of the founding women in American architecture during the early 1900s. Wright is one of America’s best-known architects, and for the past century, has largely been described as a lone genius. Therefore, the primary aim of this study is to form a better understanding of two prominent women working for Wright during this formative period and acknowledge the inherent gaps and contradictions in their historical narratives. Additionally, by gaining a better understanding of Mahony and Roberts, a more complete view of Wright is achieved. In addition to the written portion of this thesis, there will also be a creative component that is intended to be an impactful visual representation of much of the information collected. Through the process of critical making, a rather novel methodology that emphasizes creating as a way to engage in fruitful research and analysis, the information surrounding these two women’s contributions and the inevitable gaps in information, will be told. Ultimately, readers will learn more about the stories of Roberts and Mahony, and the completed project will bring attention to the inherent gaps in their historical narratives and seek methods to bring their contributions to light.

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Keywords

Women in architecture., Marion mahony griffin., Isabel roberts., Frank lloyd wright., Critical making.

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