Pictures of architects: documentary photography, persona, and the visual evidence of work life and professional identity in architecture

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Architects operate in an intensely visual world, and as such visual markers can be seen as keys to their identity, work processes, and practices. Despite the many clichés, how architects dress and the workplaces they operate within are critical indicators of culture, of individual and collective identity – as creative, and as gendered. The image of an architect, the image of a woman architect, and the image of the architectural office as workplace, thus emerge as central to the concerns of a large research project investigating gender equity and women’s participation in the Australian architecture profession. This chapter reflects on two bodies of visual research related to that project – investigating the architectural workplace and architects as professionals. Despite a long and active history in Australian architecture, women architects still tend to be less ‘visible’ than their male counterparts, and to cluster in the lower levels of the profession. There are also many women working in the field who do not appear in conventional measures of professional participation – that is, they are almost entirely invisible. Employing tools and concepts drawn from visual sociology, this chapter analyses photographic images through the lens of identity, belonging, and the quotidian aspects of architectural work. Questions of persona and performance, and the gendered workplace in architecture, all equally emerge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNon-Standard Architectural Productions
Subtitle of host publicationBetween Aesthetic Experience and Social Action
EditorsSandra Karina Loschke
Place of PublicationOxon UK
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781351208079
ISBN (Print)9780815382607
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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