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*ONLINE* Visionary Women and the Professionalisation of Landscape Architecture

Event type
Architectural History
Event dates
, 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Luca Csepely-Knorr ( Manchester School of Architecture)
020 7862 8740
Luca Csepely-Knorr presents the next in  the Architectural History Seminar series, run in conjunction  with  the IHR and the long-established seminar in Oxford.  Please note that this seminar will be on a Tuesday not on Thursday as it usually is. 

2019 marked two major anniversaries: the centenary of the opening of ‘civil professions or vocations’ to women or the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act and the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute of Landscape Architects (ILA, today’s Landscape Institute). Landscape architecture is widely regarded as a profession that was pioneering in accepting, supporting and promoting women. Compared to professional bodies, such as the RTPI, who appointed its first female president, Sylvia Law in 1974, or the RIBA that elected Ruth Reed in 2009, the ILA was particularly ground breaking. It not only had two women as founding members (Lady Allen of Hurtwood and Brenda Colvin), but it also had two female presidents in the 1950s; Colvin in 1951 and shortly after Sylvia Crowe in 1957. 

During the first few decades of the history of the ILA, landscape architecture developed rapidly. The modernisation of Britain after WW2 reshaped the profession from being ‘confined almost entirely to the creation of gardens and parks’ to the design of large scale landscapes, accommodating complex new structures, typologies and activities. This paper will discuss how the professionalisation of women affected the development of the ILA, the profession of landscape architecture and the landscapes of the post-war era, beyond questions of design. It will explore the various ways women contributed both to the Institute’s ‘identity and symbolic strength separate from the architectural profession’ and to its international recognition which is associated with the foundation of the International Federation of Landscape Architects in 1948.

Luca Csepely-Knorr is a landscape architect and art historian, working at the Manchester School of Architecture. Her research centres on late 19th and 20th century landscape architecture, with a particular emphasis on the development of the design theory of public spaces. She is Co-Investigator of the AHRC funded project ‘Landscapes of Post-War Infrastructure: Culture, Amenity, Heritage and Industry’ and co-convener of the multidisciplinary conference and research network ‘How Women Build?’

For the foreseeable future the IHR-SAHGB Seminars will be virtual events; please note this seminar will be presented via zoom. 

We will circulate joining instructions via email. Please complete the form on the SAHGB website.