Finding pioneering women in architecture is critical to the future’s understanding of the past.
The multimedia exhibit 30X30: Expanding the Legacy celebrates the first 30 years of the International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) by showcasing the work of thirty women from the archives. Supporting the goal to increase the awareness and record the formative history of women in architecture, the exhibit maps the range of the archive, offers a preview of the treasures within, and reminds us of the urgency of saving collections otherwise too easily lost to time.
30X30 was created so viewers would be touched by the stature of this work and the women who produced it bringing the IAWA mission to light. This digital performance piece originated with thirty archives from the IAWA collection, linked in a dialog of time, space, and architecture. As this project grows, it models a future goal to ultimately draw upon the entire IAWA collection. This goal seems unreachable because the ground to be recovered is immense.
30X30 first debuted as a performance at the Virginia Tech Moss Center for the Performing Arts during the 18th Congress of the International Union of Women Architects held in conjunction with the 30th Anniversary of the International Archive of Women in Architecture, July 2015. Similarly, we have been mounted the show at the Kibel Gallery in conjunction with the AIA Women’s Leadership Summit, held in Washington DC, September 2017.
Look into 30X30 to discover how efforts by the International Archive of Women in Architecture are uncovering and preserving evidence to advance historical knowledge.
The International Archive of Women in Architecture Center (IAWA)
Founded in 1985, the mission of the International Archive of Women in Architecture Center (IAWA) is to document the history of women’s involvement in architecture by collecting, preserving, storing and making available to researchers the professional papers of women architects, landscape architects, designers, architectural historians and critics, urban planners as well as the records of women’s architectural organizations, from around the world. The IAWA collects this information to fill serious gaps in the availability of primary research materials for architectural, women’s and social history research. These materials are held in Special Collections of the University Libraries. The Board of Advisors of the IAWA Center are a group of elected representatives from around the world, who oversee the research, publication, and publicity of the IAWA as well as identify potential donors (funds and work) for the archive.
The IAWA is dedicated to:
Find and preserve the records of the pioneer generation of women architects, interior and industrial designers, landscape architects, and urban designers and planners, whose papers may be lost or dispersed if not collected immediately;
Appeal to retired women from these professions who have played a part in the history of the professions to donate their papers to the IAWA;
Appeal to active women architects, designers, and planners to save their papers and to consider donating them to the IAWA at a later date;
Serve as a clearinghouse of information on all women architects, designers, and planners, past and present, and to encourage research on the history of women in these professions through seminars, exhibits, and publications;
Foster cooperation between all libraries or archives containing data on, or collecting material on, women in architecture, design, and planning.
The growing archive consists of sketches, manuscripts, books, individual projects, and the works of an entire career. Primary research materials (unique or original works) preserved in the Archive include architectural drawings, photographs and slides, manuscripts, models, and job files. To meet the need of serving as a clearinghouse of information about all women in architecture, past and present, the IAWA also collects secondary materials such as biographical information in addition to books and other publications and exhibitions. Through many significant and diverse donations, the Archive is growing into a tremendous historical resource. The Archive now houses more than 400 collections and continues to grow in significance through donations from around the world. The IAWA seeks these compelling materials to expand the legacy and illuminate architecture.