The Architect as Shopper: Women, electricity, building products and the interwar ‘proprietary turn’ in the UK

Organizer: Gastdozentur Lange
Date: Thursday, 7 December 2017
Time: 18.00 to 19.30
Location: HIL H 40.4 (Plaza)

In the UK in the 1930s, the vast expansion of the manufacture and the marketing of building products transformed the role of architects and their relationship to industry. At the same time, women were recruited into technical professions in order to build a new market of female consumers. Through a series of ‘portraits’ of some of these women – celebrated and unknown – and their work in institutions such as ‘The Building Centre’ in New Bond Street and the Electrical Association for Women, this paper examines how these changes were enacted and the ‘feminizing’ of technical information they brought about.

Katie Lloyd Thomas is Professor of Theory and History of Architecture and co-director of the Architectural Research Collaborative at Newcastle University. With Tilo Amhoff and Nick Beech she recently edited Industries of Architecture (Routledge Critiques, 2015) and her monograph Preliminary Operations: Material theory and the architectural specification is in preparation. Katie is a founder member of the feminist collective taking place www.takingplace.org.uk and publishes widely in the area of feminist practice and theory. Much of her current research explores contexts – real and imagined - where gender and technology intersect.


Dr. Torsten Lange
Dr. Gabrielle Schaad