Ask anyone to name 10 renowned architects and they’ll likely rattle off a list of mostly men. (Though if that person is not in the profession, naming 10 is a feat in and of itself.) Last year’s posthumous selection of Julia Morgan as the first women to receive the AIA’s Gold Medal was both a victory for women in architecture and a reality check: Why have so few female designers made the headlines and the history books? Besides a handful of familiar faces—Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA, Denise Scott Brown, and Beverly Willis, FAIA—many women architects and designers, past and present, are overdue for recognition. ArchiteXX, an independent, unaffiliated organization for women in architecture, is organizing a crowd-sourced effort to do just that.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, ArchiteXX wants people to contribute Wikipedia entries on notable women in architecture, design, urban planning, and construction. This global call to action, “Women. Wikipedia. Design.” was inspired by the June 2013 Places essay “Unforgetting Women Architects: From the Pritzker to Wikipedia,” which reviews how women in the profession have been overlooked or dismissed by historians, their peers, and even themselves. In the piece, author Despina Stratigakos expresses dismay at the hassling she has observed by Wikipedia’s crowd-sourced editors when they have attempted to add entries on women architects, and at the lack of information available on women designers on Wikipedia as compared to that in the similarly user-generated, but lesser trafficked Dynamic National Archive Collection, by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.
ArchiteXX will provide guidelines to help participants navigate Wikipedia’s editing protocol and citing criteria upon request. The Missing 32% Project’s post on the effort also recommends Archiparlour’s instructions and “How to Edit Wikipedia: Lessons from a Female Contributor,” from the Anita Borg Institute.
To streamline efforts, ArchiteXX is asking participants to list whom they plan to write about on its Google spreadsheet. Multiple entries and self-organized Wikipedia writing parties are encouraged for the day of the event.