#ParlourInstaGuest: A Space to Speak?

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How are new(er) media technologies shaping the discourse of architecture? This paper discusses the use of the image sharing social media platform, Instagram, by Parlour, an advocacy group focused on women, equity and architecture. It explores how social media – a digital communication technology that enables the formation of online communities through platforms that encourage exchange, participation and knowledge sharing – is changing the way women participate in architectural discourse and architecture culture. Architectural discourse is defined by the content and form of the media that disseminates it. Its role in society is established in relation to mass media (periodicals, newspapers, television, exhibitions and the like) through which architecture is produced, distributed and consumed.(1) These traditional forms of mass communication structure the perception and reception of architecture and determine the content we see and those who produce it. Within this space certain narratives of architecture are privileged and made visible while others are ignored, rendered invisible or denied time to develop through engagement with an active audience. Historically, the profiles and practices of women architects have been overlooked in architectural discourse. Although women have moved towards parity in architectural education the literature dedicated
to recording and discussing the work of women architects remains elusive. With the rise of digital media platforms, the avenues for architectural communication have multiplied. Although the content published through these mediums is heavily influenced by the structures of established traditional media the way weinteract with and produce content is changing significantly, opening up spaces of visibility for alternative and activist voices. In light of this shift in the media landscape, this paper explores the question: “If traditional, established forms of media are keeping women out of the conversation, are digital social media platforms, enabled by the increasing prevalence of digital communication technology, a place where women in architecture might finally find a place to speak?”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistoriographies of Technology and Architecture: Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand
EditorsJoanna Merwood-Salisbury, Michael Dudding, Christopher McDonald
Place of PublicationWellington, NZ
PublisherSociety of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)78-0-473-45713-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventSociety of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference 2018: Histographies of Technology & Architecture - Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 4 Jul 20187 Jul 2018
Conference number: 35th


ConferenceSociety of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleSAHANZ 2018
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand
Internet address

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