Designing women

The theme of women architects refers to the role that women designers have played since the late twentieth century. This very current topic goes beyond architecture, concerning gender studies and the issue of equal professional opportunities. The itinerary crosses Italy from north to south, intertwining a selection of works following in the wake of reflections emerged from international debates.

“Designing Women” highlights singular projects that see women at work, alone, in pairs or in teams. Taken together, the works reveal the chronological and morphological variety of women’s contribution to the built heritage, in this brief story of the “pink collars” participation.

In denial of a vision of women “relegated” to the design of domestic spaces, the works present different design themes and scales ranging from public spaces and urban infrastructures to gardens, and from buildings for worship and tertiary use to museums. They cross, merely tangentially, the reflection on the home, from villas to social housing.

  1. Museum of the Treasure of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Genoa, Franca Helg, Franco Albini, 1952-56
  2. INAIL office building, Venice, Egle Renata Trincanato, Giuseppe Samonà, 1952-60
  3. Palazzo Della Morte, Napoli, Stefania Filo Speziale, Carlo Chiurazzi, Giorgio Di Simone, 1951-57
  4. Benetton Group headquarters, Ponzano Veneto (TV), Afra Bianchin Scarpa, Tobia Scarpa, 1964-90
  5. The Church of Santa Maria dell’Assunta in Riola, Grizzana Morandi (BO),Elsa Kaisa (Elissa) Mäkiniemi Aalto, Alvar Aalto, 1966-78
  6. Bunker house, La Maddalena (SS), Cini Boeri, 1967
  7. Residence du Parc, Turin, Laura Petrazzini Levi, Corrado Levi, 1969-71
  8. Brindisi House-Museum, Comacchio (FE), Nanda Vigo, 1971-73
  9. Tarot Garden, Capalbio (GR), Niki De Saint Phalle, 1980-97
  10. New system of Piazzas, Gibellina (TR), Laura Thermes, Franco Purini, 1982-90
  11. Museum of Contemporary Furniture, Russi (RA), Jhoanna Grawunder, Ettore Sottsass, 1988
  12. Access ramp to Florence Santa Maria Novella station, Florence, Ballestrero Bianca, Gae Aulenti, 1990
  13. MAXXI-National Museum of the XXI Century Arts, Rome, Zaha Hadid, 1998-2010
  14. Enlargement of the MACRO - Municipal Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rome, Odile Decq, Benoit Cornette (Architectes Urbanistes); Burkhard  Morass (collaborator), 2000-10
  15. Expansion of the Bocconi University, Milan, Yvonne Farrell, Shelley Mc Namara (Grafton Architects), 2001-08
Text by Caterina Franchini, Maria Teresa Feraboli, Emilia Garda​