Feministische Organisation von Planerinnen und Architektinnen (FOPA - Feminist Organisation of Architects and Planners) has been operating since 1981, working to reduce discrimination against women in the profession and the built environment in general. The network emerged out of a protest against the organisation of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) in Berlin (1984 and 1987) which they felt excluded many women. The group 'Frau-Steine-Erde' 'hijacked' one of the first IBA meetings and held a series of lectures through which they critiqued the exclusion of women from the planning and building process, the ignorance towards female inhabitants in large refurbishment projects and the commissioning of exclusively male architects for new buildings. The first directors of FOPA were Veronika Keckstein, Kerstin Dörhöfer and Ellen Nausester; they now have regional offices across Germany, some organising lectures and seminars for the continuing professional development of women, whilst others are more research focused; they published a journal until 2004.
Whilst FOPA is a German organisation, similar initiatives that promote women in architecture are present in many other countries, such as the Association for Women in Architecture in US founded in 1922, or Women in Architecture in UK, founded in 1999, amongst many others.
Carole Despres, 'Women's Voices in Architecture and Planning', Journal of architectural & planning research, 9 (1992): 91-179.
'Association for Women in Architecture', http://www.awa-la.org/ [accessed 20 July 2010].
'Women in Architecture', http://www.diversecity-architects.com/WIA/wia.htm [accessed 20 July 2010].
Architectural Design. Special issue. Women in architecture: an issue by and about women to mark International Women's Year, 45(8)(Aug 1975).
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