Women Are Pushing Back Against the American Institute of Architects All-Male Jury, and We're Here for It

We get so excited when we notice Avengers in the wild, so we can’t resist sharing the following Twitter exchanges.

Melanie Freeland, At-Large Director of the Historic Highland Park Neighborhood Council, called out the American Institute of Architects (AIA) on their 2019 Young Architects Award jury and its lack of equality and diversity. Here’s the tweet that started it all:


AIA National Board Director Emily Grandstaff-Rice blames the issue on the lack of women in leadership roles. Note that she says “a stronger awareness, support, and advocacy for a more diverse and inclusive leadership is needed.” 🤔 Right. Isn’t that kind of what Melanie Freeland is asking you to do?


Some people in the architecture community don’t fall for the “it’s not our fault” defense. Anna-Maria Meister, an architect, critic, writer and current PhD Candidate at Princeton University, certainly doesn’t fall for it and offers up the easy, actionable solution of having some jury members step down:


Rosa Sheng, 2018 AIASF President, points out that maybe changing the rules would work, because you can’t get better representation until there’s better representation:


Gina Ford, co-founder and principal of Agency Landscape + Planning, points out that we can’t just sit back and wait, and she challenges the AIA to take action by intentionally breaking systems of power, which is a wonderfully tall order:


And, perhaps, after all the excuses and the excellent pushback, Mette Aamodt, CEO of Aamodt / Plumb Architects, says it best:


An all-male jury in 2018 certainly should be an embarrassment to the American Institute of Architects…

An all-male jury in 2018 certainly should be an embarrassment to the American Institute of Architects, especially because this is the jury for the Young Architects Award, which honours and influences young architects at the beginning of their careers. This choice says a lot about what kind of culture they value and want to continue to nurture in their community.