Feminist Architectural Figurations

This essay explores different theoretical positions in the work of feminist architectural writing in the English language from the 1970s to today. This involves examining how feminist architectural theory’s relation to history and practice has shifted over time, reconfiguring their relation. In the first section I discuss how feminist architectural writing of the 1970s–80s drew on feminist political theories of equality and difference to provide a conceptual underpinning for understanding how sexism operates in the building industry and architectural profession, and on women’s roles as makers and users of the built environment. The second section engages with feminist architectural theory in the 1990s, which was explicitly interdisciplinary, adopting and adapting feminist concepts from disciplines outside architecture, and producing a critical understanding of the gendering of representations. In the final section I investigate how, in the last decade, feminist architectural theory has been more generative and activist, and re-rooted in practice, where theory is often positioned both as subject matter but also a mode of practice in its own right.

‘Feminist Architectural Figurations,’ Elie Hadid (ed), The Contested Territory of Architectural Theory, (Routledge, 2022).

(Download PDF)
Other Chapters
A life of its own
A Way with Words: Feminists Writing Architectural Design Research
Activating Home and Work
An Embellishment – Purdah
Architectural History in Critical Practice
Configuring Critique
Constellation, Insertion, Act? approaching Frontier – The Line of Style through critical spatial practice
Constellations (or the reassertion of time into critical spatial practice)
Critical Spatial Practices – A Feminist Sketch of some Modes and what Matters
Curating, Editing, Writing – Critical Spatial Practice
Cut on the Bias: Relating Art and Architecture through Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity
During Breakfast
Feminist Architectural Figurations
Figures of Speech: before and after Writing
Foreword: Critical Spatial Practice: Introductions and Adjustments and Postscript: From Critical to Ethical Spatial Practice
From Architectural History
From Austin Texas…
Fuggles Writes (An Autumn Draft)
How to take place (but only for so long)
May Mo(u)rn – A Site-Writing
Seven Studies for ‘A Holding’, 23 March–31 May 2020
Silver: A Courtroom Drama
Space, Place, Site – Critical Spatial Practice
Spatial Imagination
Surface Encounters: On being Centred, Decentred and Recentred by the works of Do-Ho Suh
Tendencies and Trajectories – Feminist Approaches in Architecture
The Architecture of Psychoanalysis – Constructions and Associations
The Place of Prepositions
The Research of Place/The Place of Research
The Setting and the Social Condensor – Transitional Spaces of Architecture and Psychoanalysis
The Siting of Writing and the Writing of Sites
The Transitional Space of Interdisciplinarity
The Transitional Space of the Social Condensor
Thresholds, Passages, Surfaces
To and Fro/Tours and Detours: Writing between Sites and non-Sites
Trafalgar Square – Détournements (A Site-Writing)
Traveling the Distance
Undoing Architecture
When site-writing becomes site-reading or how space matters through time
Where the thinking stops…
Working (Through) the Field
Writing in the place of speaking
X Marks the Spot that Will Have Been
You tell me