Write Women in Wikipedia

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When: March 2nd, 6pm- 7pm
Where: AIA Orange County Office, 4100 Birch Street Suite 300, Newport Beach CA 92660

Cost: Free for AIAOC Members, $20 for Non- Members
** Attendees can self report via their personal page at www.aia.org to apply for 1 LU

In January, we watched A girl is a Fellow here”, a documentary directed by Beverly Willis (Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation) about one hundred women in the studio of Frank Lloyd Wright.

The documentary focused on the life and works of Marion Mahoney, Isabel Roberts, Lois Gottlieb, Jane Duncombe, Eleanore Pattersen and Read Weber. These six women worked with Frank Lloyd Wright at his Oak Park Studio, or at Taliesin at various stages of their career, and became trailblazers for women in architecture by pursuing successful careers and practices in architecture.

After watching the documentary, I instinctively searched the six women architects on Wikipedia.

What did I find? Marion Mahoney, Isabel Roberts and Eleanore Pettersen are on Wikipedia, there is sparse information about Lois Gottlieb and Jane Buncombe, and Read Weber is almost invisible on the internet.

At an age when technology has made it possible to store every irrelevant data on the internet, and storify every word we utter on the virtual space, it is a tragedy that we still don’t have complete and pertinent information about women architects who have contributed positively to the built environment and challenged traditional gender roles in building and construction.

Where are our role models? Where are the bed time stories about pioneer women in architecture? Where is us, in the media, and in popular art? Where is the documentation of our past, and present?

Despina Stratigakos, Professor of Architecture at University at Buffalo, Architectural Historian, and author of the book “Where are the women architects?” writes: History is not simple meritocracy: it is a narrative of the past written and revised – or not written at all – by the people with agendas”.

How do we address this inequality?
We write them in Wikipedia, and share their legacy.

1.Create a Wikipedia account here: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:CreateAccount&returnto=Wikipedia%3AWhy_create_an_account%3F

2.Find out if the person you are writing about is already on Wikipedia by a simple search. If there is a page already, you can choose to add more information to the page. If not, you can create the page.

3.Bring the relevant reference material to add your entry. Plan your materials ahead of time. AIA Orange County office will not have any reference materials available.

4.Bring your own laptop with a power cord.

5.Please download the guide on how to get started on Wikipedia editing from Parlour (website for women, equity and architecture)
Link: http://archiparlour.org/wikid-guides-to-wikipedia-editing/

Further reading:

Link to Despina Stratigakoss article Unforgetting Women Architects: From the Pritzker to Wikipedia : https://placesjournal.org/article/unforgetting-women-architects-from-the-pritzker-to-wikipedia/

You can find more, in depth information about Women and Wikipedia here: