Celebrating International Women’s Day.

Wishing you all a very happy and productive International Women’s Day. To mark the occasion our amazing Claire Hoskin has put together a small but inspiring exhibition of Female Firsts in the third floor reception area. The Female Firsts exhibition has become an International Women’s Day tradition in the School of Architecture and Design over the last few years. It continues to grow each year in line with new achievements and we hope we will eventually run out of walls on which to celebrate them.

When asked about the exhibition Claire said “As a female technical demonstrator I have observed that some of our female students seem to be nervous about working in areas that have been traditionally perceived as “male”. Having studied myself in workshops I was keen to encourage students that everyone should be able to both sew on a button and mix concrete, although not necessarily at the same time. I learned a lot putting together the list of female firsts, which I compiled with the help of our staff and students’ suggestions. Some of these milestones are disappointingly recent while others are encouragingly early. The architect Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham is one of my favourites and is well worth looking up”

“We are lucky to work and study in such a liberal and inclusive place as Brighton. I felt it was important, however, to remember that many women in different times and in different places in the world have not had the opportunity to contribute their skills and ambitions. I hope that these women’s achievements continue to be remembered and acknowledged and provide inspiration to all our students.”

Meanwhile in studio we asked teaching staff to comment on the importance of International Women’s Day. Sam Lynch (soon to be Dr. Sam Lynch) had this to say, ‘With respect to women undertaking an education in Architecture, it is helpful to realise (and then not forget) that the complexity of the subject gives no upper hand – there is no secret to it, only desire and discipline, and neither of these are gendered territory. Architecture is constantly opening, subverting and transforming ideas. Our relationship to this complexity – to the thoughtfulness necessary for this kind of work – is always stepping beyond the preconceived, and there is a complete confidence to be taken from this untempered relationship (regardless of sex).

Dr. Elisa Lega who has recently returned form maternity leave said ‘International Women’s Day is for me both a time to reflect on acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities and a reminder to give my contribution to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning (Goal number 4 – UN 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development Goals).’