The Architectural Association celebrates a century of women and their work


Marking the centenary of the Architectural Association’s first intake of women students in 1917, ‘AA XX 100: Celebrating 100 Years of Women’ takes the form of an exhibition, a book and three-day international conference. The events represent the work of a number of celebrated AA graduates and teachers, including Zaha Hadid, Amanda Levete, Farshid Moussavi, Julia Barfield and Patty Hopkins, as well as many others less well recognised.


AA Pantomime 1930, with Mary Crowley, Carmen Dillon, Peggy Gick, Jill Muncaster and Betty Ellis (ph:AA Photo Library). Above: Denise Scott Brown (ph: Robert Venturi, Venturi Scott Brown Collection, Architectural Archives, University of Pennsylvania)

The exhibition (at the Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square until 9th December) includes paintings, drawings and models with archival material, historic photographs and the AA XX 100 Oral History Project, an interactive collection of interviews with alumnae. The exhibition is designed by architect and AA Council past president, Eva Jiricna and Georgina Papathanasiou.


Jane Drew in 1965 (ph: National Portrait Gallery, The Lewinski Archive at Chatsworth, Bridgeman Images)

The book, ‘AA Women in Architecture 1917-2017’, published by AA Publications and edited by Lynne Walker and Elizabeth Darling, offers a historical account of women at the AA and their subsequent work in architecture, design and education in Britain and the wider world. It includes original essays by academics, architects and writers, and a rich variety of visual material.

The conference, on 2nd-4th November and convened with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, includes presentations, panel discussions, an open jury and keynote conversations between AA School interim head Samantha Hardingham and AA Council past president and co-founder of dRMM Sadie Morgan, as well as a discussion between the collaborative practices Matrix, Muf and Australian initiative Parlour.

Eaton Place apartment, Zaha Hadid, 1981–82 (ph: Zaha Hadid Architects)

AA XX 100 is the culmination of a four-year collaboration between the AA and architectural historians Darling (Oxford Brookes University) and Walker (Institute of Historical Research, University of London), the exhibition curators and co-organisers of the conference.

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