SACAP’s WiASA RECOGNISES TRIUMPH OF AIA GOLD MEDAL WINNER WITH UNIVERSITY OF WITWATERSRAND (WITS) Ph.D
The South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) takes this opportunity to congratulate architectural couple Dr. Denise Scott Brown and her husband and partner Robert Venturi, on having recently won the 2016 American Institute of Architecture (AIA) Gold medal.
The Zambian born Dr Brown studied inSouth Africaat theUniversity of the Witwatersrandfrom 1948 to 1952 and not long ago had an Honorary PhD conferred upon her by WITS. They are the first couple to have received the award after over 30 years of fighting for due recognition to be given to Dr Brown.
She is the second woman upon which it has ever been bestowed. The first woman received it a year ago – after the first 100 went to only men. This prestigious award adds to another twelve she has already won in her lifetime.
Marella O’Reilly, Registrar and CEO of SACAP, which launched the Women in Architecture South Africa (WiASA) programme last year, says: “We are seeing extraordinary women architects finally receiving the recognition they deserve on international platforms. WiASA draws inspiration from that and is delighted to join the voices and palpable joy from young professionals all around the world who have immense respect for the couple’s work and in particular Dr Brown’s advocacy for women in architecture as she been boldly speaking out about discrimination within the profession.
“Architectural professionals here in South Africa were encouraged seeing her struggle and ultimately achieve victory in being recognized as an equal partner of her firm, in an era where architectural firms around the globe are just emerging from being predominantly male. Her drive to gain due recognition was fuelled in 1991 when she was overlooked for the Pritzker Prize; a controversial moment that saw the organisation honour only her male partner (who happened to be her husband) in the firm.”
The Registrar concludes, “To learn that she has now finally won an AIA Gold Award is truly encouraging. Here in South Africa, one of the main objectives of WiASA is to transform and change the culture within South Africa’s profession to ensure it is progressive, broad and far-reaching, and provides a structure within which women in architecture can begin to address their needs.”
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