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*This event is occurring as a live webinar. Registrants will be emailed a link to access the program; please continue to register.*

Whilst the professional prejudices facing women architects are becoming more widely discussed, less is known about the pressures facing women architecture academics, the majority of whom remain in a minority position and fail to mirror the career progression afforded their male counterparts. Precisely because education both reflects and directs professional practice, there is an urgent need to question why women remain poorly represented in academic leadership roles.

The AIANY Women in Architecture Committee is honored to have Harriet Harriss as our featured Women’s History Month Leadership Breakfast speaker. Her talk, Mistresses Of The Architectural Academy, will consider tactics for increasing women’s leadership within the architecture academy—assessing whether feminist leadership theories have so far offered a sufficient challenge to the pervasive model of leadership predicated on hierarchy, individuality and rationality; the pernicious conflation of ‘feminist’ and ‘feminine’ leadership as mutually characterized by ‘conversational’ and ‘participatory’ approaches; the debilitating influence of ‘gender-blind’ (but largely male-authored) organizational theories against which women’s potential is judged; and whether it really is feasible for women to use their marginality as a tool for professional progress or whether assuming the role of mistress of architecture and defining what that role should constitute will require a whole new set of tactics altogether.

Harriet Harriss, Assoc. AIA, RIBA, PhD, Dean, Pratt School of Architecture

Harriet Harriss is an architect, writer, historian, and the Dean of the Pratt School of Architecture in Brooklyn, New York. Prior to this, she led the Architecture Research Program at the Royal College of Art in London until 2015 and the Masters in Architecture Program at Oxford Brookes from 2009-2015. Her scholarship principally concerns pioneering pedagogies in architectural education and confronts themes such as feminism, equity, decolonization, diversity, inclusion, civic engagement, the climate crisis, and queer ecologies. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2003, Harriss established Design Heroine Architects, a participatory design practice that won start-up funding for its social innovation objectives from NESTA in 2004.

Throughout her academic career, Harriss won various awards for teaching and research, including a Diawa Foundation Fellowship, two Santander Awards, a Brookes Teaching Fellowship, a Winston Churchill Fellowship, and a HEA Internationalisation fellowship. In 2016, Harriss was awarded a Clore Fellowship for cultural leadership and was elected to the European Association of Architectural Education Council (EAAE) in summer 2017. In 2018, she was awarded a Principal Fellowship of the UK’s Higher Education Academy.

Harriss’s consultancy roles include the UK Department for Education construction industry T-Level panel, international program validations, external examining, and pedagogy design and development. From 2018-2020, she chaired the RIBA’s prestigious Dissertation Medal judging panel and, in 2016, she secured a 500,000 Euro research grant from Erasmus to lead an international consortium investigating the trans-sector applications of an architecture degree. Harriss has spoken across a wide range of media channels (from the BBC, Fox News, and Monacle Radio to TEDx) on the wider issues facing the built environment.

Harriss is also recognized as an advocate for diversity and inclusion within design education and was nominated by Dezeen as a champion for women in architecture and design in 2019. Her books include Architecture Live Projects: pedagogy into practice (2015), Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education & the British Tradition (2015), A Gendered Profession (2016), Interior Futures (2019), Architects After Architecture (2020), and Greta Magnusson Grossman: Modern Design From Sweden To California (2020). Her forthcoming books include Architectural Pedagogies of the Global South (2021), and The Architecture of the Post-Anthropocene (2022).

Organized by
AIANY Women in Architecture Committee
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