Architecture+Women NZ has received the inaugural John Sutherland Practice Award.
Architecture+Women NZ – a leading voice for equity in architecture in Aotearoa New Zealand – has received the inaugural John Sutherland Practice Award. This award celebrates and acknowledges the influence and impact of individuals, groups or collectives on architecture and the built environment, of which Architecture+Women NZ has made a profound contribution since its inception in 2011.
Lynda Simmons, Julie Wilson and Megan Rule founded Architecture+Women NZ with the core aims of achieving visibility and inclusiveness for women within the industry and creating equality across the profession. Academic Sarah Treadwell also served as a founding member and a critical mentor to the trio.
In 2012, Elisapeta Heta (Ngātiwai, Ngāpuhi, Waikato Tainui, Sāmoan and Tokelauan whakapapa) joined the organisation and the following year Architecture+Women NZ held the exhibition Between Silos. It was a response to Constructive Agenda – 60 Years of Women in Architecture in New Zealand, which 20 years prior highlighted the lack of coverage and visibility of women architects. But Architecture+Women NZs work had only just begun.
In 2014, a study by architectural historian Julia Gatley found female architects appeared just 14 times in New Zealand publications and books on architecture up until 2010.
With a growing voice and membership, which has doubled to nearly 1000 since 2013, Architecture+Women NZ has steadfastly shaped and influenced the conversation of diversity, inclusion and equity in architecture, and how practice adapts to these needs.
Year on year, Architecture+Women NZ has added to its impressive programme of awards and events, mentoring and workshops. This year, it celebrated the release of Making Space: A History of Women Architects in Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Elizabeth Cox, published by Massey University Press.
As well as its public-facing achievements, Architecture+Women NZ works assiduously to advance progress through submissions to parliament on bills such as pay equity, and in an advisory capacity in areas such as improving diversity.
Architecture+Women NZ states that it “simply shines the spotlight on women working in the field of architecture, because it so often misses them”. It does this and much more. The John Sutherland Award acknowledges Architecture+Women NZ for shining light on the work of its members, and its ongoing contribution to removing barriers within the profession, while benefiting all members of the profession.