A proposal to increase the visibility of women in the architecture, urbanism, design and construction industries on Wikipedia has been awarded a US $14,150 grant by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Put forward by Parlour (Australia), Architexx (New York) and n-ails (Berlin), the proposal was submitted in response to the resistance new contributors faced from other Wikipedia editors on International Women’s Day 2015, when people from Australia and around the world gathered to have the most diverse and wide ranging record of women in architecture written into Wikipedia.
Dubbed ‘Women Wikipedia Day’, the movement aimed to address the bias and underrepresentation of women in these disciplines and collective canon of notable figures online. However on the day, entries created on subjects who did not have large digital footprints were challenged despite substantial citations to material available in analogue formats.
“There is a very limited presence of women involved in architecture and the built environment disciplines on Wikipedia, and the entries that do exist are inconsistent in their coverage and quality. This is part of a broader situation in which women are underrepresented as both subjects and contributors on Wikipedia as a whole,” the Wikimedia proposal notes, pointing to Despina Stratigakos’ essay, Unforgetting Women Architects: From the Pritzker to Wikipedia.
“Adding women architects is not always a clear or straightforward matter. Many significant women architects have been forgotten by history and not all 'notable' contemporary women have large media footprints to use in online citations – adding them to Wikipedia is part of the process of writing them into history.”
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The grant will build on Architexx’s original Women Wikipedia Design project, and go towards developing an international education and advocacy program that will enable more men and women to write Wikipedia articles on women in architecture and the built environment.
In part, this involves providing writing and editing workshops for existing professional networks, both directly and indirectly with open source training material. The organisers also plan to engage with school of architecture librarians and archivists, architecture professors and practitioners to help create a knowledge base in combination with architecture students interested in expanding the list of notable women in the discipline.
To find out more about the proposal, visit the More Female Architects on Wikipedia page.