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Letters in VIEW : Women Architects Get No Respect

June 07, 1987

The article "Architecture Now Is Reflecting Its Designing Women" (by Sam Hall Kaplan, May 9) celebrated women architects and mothers. While I strongly support both, I am appalled by the association. Is Mother's Day the only appropriate time to discuss women in the profession? The architects mentioned in your article are successful practitioners. In the context of the architectural field, they deserve to be recognized as such first.

Women architects have made important contributions to the field in recent years, yet they are still viewed as outsiders or dilettantes.

The contributions of women practitioners are significant and distinct. Unfortunately, general readers of your article would receive a distorted view of women architects without understanding the deeper issues.

First, they would gather that women architects are a particularly fertile group; practically every one has young children or is pregnant.

This fact tells much about the distribution of women in the profession. Currently, there are few older practitioners. Over the last 20 years, the number of women has increased each year. As a result, there is now a large number of women architects of childbearing age.

Second, readers would learn that women architects often design projects relating to housing, restoration, women and children. The importance of this association should be explored. Does it reflect a particular social consciousness of women architects, or does it result from the stereotypic preconceptions of clients?

As Father's Day draws near, I am looking forward to a parallel article on men in the profession, exploring whether a male architect can also be a father, and if so, how many male architects in different firms are expecting offspring and how many are in full partnership with a woman.

DIANE FAVRO

Los Angeles

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