Finissage Final Symposium: Women in Architecture Festival 2021

After five exciting weeks the WIA Festival Berlin 2021 ended on July 1st, 2021 with a finissage at B-Part Am Gleisdreieck. The participants summed up and celebrated the visibility of women in building culture, their presented works and the participation of women in the public discourse.

For the first time in Berlin the n-ails e.V. network organized together with Architektenkammer Berlin, the WIA Festival on the topic of “Women in Architecture”. Berlin, as one of the world’s most exciting cities for planning, building and negotiating, was the ideal place to create the space for the examination of works by women and to discuss the long-overdue restructuring of the professions. Together with around 30 female actors, content on topics such as “Building site equality”, “Parity building culture” and “Reconstruction of the professional image” was discussed at almost 100 events throughout June. Exhibitions, film series, guided tours, symposia, lectures, workshops and many other formats took place at many different locations.

In numerous lectures and discussions many new insights, topics and thoughtful moments were collected. There was an exchange about works, numbers, data and facts about women in architecture, which made people think, changed their perspective and created some AHA experiences.

In addition to an individual own gender agenda, it was identified that for fast and efficient progress, promotion, support, mentoring and also gender budgeting is still needed to reduce social, legal and economic barriers and to establish real justice. With this in mind, a manifestA was developed with the 34 female stakeholders. This is intended to provide an impulse for further discussion of the topic of women in architecture, for example for studies, publications or articles.

Andrea Männel, WIA initiator and board member of the Architektenkammer Berlin: “manifestA shows as a consensus of all participants that the three predefined building sites for equality – visibility, dialogue, diversity – are not finished even after an intensive, four-week discussion.” Hille Bekic, Vice President Architektenkammer Berlin, adds: “Therefore, statements and learnings were collected from as many stakeholders as possible on the three fields of action. In addition, we conducted surveys online and, in some cases, face-to-face workshops.” A questionnaire was developed for each field of action. The collected answers were processed during the festival and condensed and approved in the run-up to the finissage together with the actors in a final workshop.

WIA manifestA demands:

WIA BERLIN calls for the establishment of permanent positions for equality in all state chambers and reporting in the biennial building culture report of the Federal Foundation for Building Culture.

WIA BERLIN demands equal representation at all levels as a matter of course. The requires equal value of CARE and gainful employment!

WIA BERLIN demands that institutions of building culture act as role models, implement equal opportunities and equality and raise awareness of the issue outside the building world.

WIA BERLIN calls for a move away from the “star cult” towards a social, cooperative, collaborative, open and diverse building culture that addresses everyone.

WIA BERLIN calls for a focus on New Role Models and cross-generational and cross-national dialogue.

WIA BERLIN calls upon the chambers of architects to finally choose a name that reflects all disciplines and genders.

Source: Newsletter #7 n-ails e.V. / WIA Berlin 2021, press release (July 5th 2021) WIA Festival 2021.