Wikipedia now lists 65 Australian women architects, thanks to the WikiD project that provided the resources and motivation to dramatically increase the presence of women architects on the website. The latest figures represent a great improvement from the beginning of March 2015 where there were only 10 women architects listed on Wikipedia. Globally, the women in architecture content on Wikipedia increased by 38% during October 2015.
An international collaboration between groups in Melbourne, New York and Berlin, the WikiD project not only highlighted the issue of the limited presence of women architects on Wikipedia, but also initiated a global movement to increase their numbers.
WikiD enables anyone, anywhere, to write and rewrite the history of women’s participation in architecture. Justine Clark from Parlour observed that many people gave up their weekends or evenings to work together to increase the visibility of women in architecture.
The project has held writing workshops and edit-a-thons in Melbourne, Berlin and New York; compiled extensive lists of women to be added; identified references and resources; and developed the WikiD Guide to Wikipedia Editing (in both English and German).
Importantly, the edit-a-thons also revealed a significant number of women contributing to the discipline of architecture as educators, historians, critical thinkers and exhibition curators, leading to even more notable women being written into Wikipedia.
The team has attracted interest from Wikipedia already with the German language Wikipedia front page featuring an entry on architect and planner Ruth Golan, created by a WikiD participant in Berlin. Eleanor Chapman commented that it was particularly significant because only a tiny fraction of the hundreds of new articles created every day make it to the front page of Wikipedia.
The WikiD team is delighted that other groups in other cities are also taking up the WikiD project, and running events where people can edit and write together.
WikiD is an international collaboration between Architexx (New York), Parlour (Australia) and n-ails (Berlin), seed funded by the Wikimedia Foundation PEG grant program. The project was initiated by Eleanor Chapman, Justine Clark, Lori Brown and Anna Schmalen.
Photo credit: Charity Edwards