The Woman in the Glass House: Lina Bo Bardi and the Pritzker Prize

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The Woman in the Glass House: Lina Bo Bardi and the Pritzker Prize

Architecture is a profession that has long struggled with major gender inequities in spite of recent strides. Significantly, there is growing awareness among architects that prizes like the Pritzker Architecture Prize, one of the field’s top accolades and largest monetary awards have played a crucial role in overlooking women’s contributions and widening the achievement gap between women designers and their male colleagues. This summer, Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) is showing its collection of works by many of the Pritzker’s 42 laureates. The show inevitably reflects how the prize has changed along with the contemporaneous architectural thought—from parametricism to postmodernism to progressive approaches to social housing. At the same time, viewing so many of the winners side by side also provides an opportunity to consider how little has changed. As it happens, of the 42 laureates, only three are women: Zaha Hadid (2004), Kazuyo Sejima (2010), and Carme Pigem (2017). Of those, only Hadid was awarded the prize in her own right—the other two were awarded along with their male partners.1

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