It is well known that the profession of architecture is still largely a man's world. But its educational institutions appear to be in better shape: today, male and female architecture students graduate at equal rates. Still, despite this hopeful statistic, there are many subtle ways in which architecture schools remain far from inclusive.
In July 2018, Equality in Design, a student group at the Yale School of Architecture, sent two surveys to approximately 86 schools around the world, seeking to assess the educational climate of architecture and its ability to provide an equitable experience to its students, regardless of their gender identification. The results trickled in over the course of the next few months, reaching a total of 779 responses. Experiences of students continents apart started to form common threads, while others offered divergent opinions.
Designed around a collection of reconfigurable seats, the show creates a space for dialogue that will animate its contents. Bringing the intersection of gender and architecture to the fore, A Seat at the Table aims to be a starting point for a longer and larger conversation. The seats in this exhibition have been donated by students of YSoA. Their diversity in size, material and structure can be considered analogous to the various complex identities that come with any convergence of individuals in architectural spheres.
The exhibition is designed not to provide conclusions, but to make space for longer conversations. We invite you to add your questions, comments, and experiences wherever you wish. The gallery presents information from the survey and external sources, but will only truly be animated by the thoughts and opinions of the people that visit.
To contact the exhibit organizers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The questions in the survey were collectively written by members of Equality in Design. Emails were sent out to contacts crowdsourced from the student body of YSoA and contacts gleaned from internet searches. The survey opened on July 26, 2018. The data in this exhibition represents the responses gathered up until September 23, 2018. We are hoping to continue collecting responses for future iterations, so please take the survey if you have not done so.
The percentage of respondents who identified as nonconforming or other accurately represents their proportion in the larger population. The small sample size of this group skews the results, which makes it difficult to draw inferences.
The resulting dataset represents people from diverse backgrounds. The variations in class, race and other identities of the respondents make it difficult to attribute any results as consequences of gender. Nonetheless, we processed the data as objectively as possible, using percentages to facilitate comparisons across categories and with external surveys.
The survey itself contains biases in question phrasing and response formatting that likely skewed the answers in certain ways. These shortcomings will be called out throughout the exhibition.
As you read the results, keep in mind the non-scientific nature of the survey. It is an attempt to make voices heard, invoke a public conversation, and take a first step in a longer process of dismantling the more subtle barriers to gender equity.
The purpose of this research project is to expose the current state of gender in architecture education around the world. This survey is conducted by current students at the Yale School of Architecture for an exhibit at the YSoA in October, 2018. The information will inform our graphic representation at the exhibit. Architecture schools around the world are invited to participate in this survey and we are hoping to spread the word to as many institutions as possible.
The procedure involves students filling an online survey that will take approximately 5 minutes, and a representative of the school filling out a separate survey that will take slightly longer. We do not collect identifying information such as your name, email address or IP address, only the name of the educational institution, its location, and the gender identity of the respondent. The survey questions for students will be about their experiences in architecture school as they relate to gender. Questions will be both subjective and objective. Your school's name will be featured on a graphic with around 30-100 schools' names that indicate the diversity and breadth of the survey sample.
All data is stored in a password protected electronic format, only accessible by Equality in Design members. The results of this study will be used for scholarly purposes only and will eventually be shared on our website aseat.org to encourage further research and open communication. The format of the results is still to be determined as we are in the planning phase for the exhibition, but it will likely be infographics that assess students' perceptions and opinions collectively or by region, rather than by each individual school.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions.