ERC Project - Women Writing Architecture 1700-1900
 Instagram / Twitter / Email

About WoWA

Source: Eugène Delacroix. July 28: Liberty Leading the People. 1830. Oil on canvas, 8'6¼" x 10'8" (2.60 x 3.25 m). Musée du Louvre, Paris. 
Women Writing Architecture: Female Experiences of the Built 1700-1900*, short WoWA, studies female experiences of architecture as recorded in documentary writing drawn from specific regions in South America and Europe between 1700 and 1900. While architectural histories often focus on male-dominated processes of design and production, this project takes a new stance by unearthing women’s contributions to the architectural sphere through writing and editing.
While not part of the canon, articles, travelogues, domestic manuals, or pamphlets authored by women in the period consistently featured descriptions of or commentary on buildings and cities, but these have never been examined collectively by architectural historians. Through a combination of macro and micro research, close and distant reading, geographical mapping and tracing of experience, WoWA addresses this gap opening up a new corpus and presenting architecture’s past through the female eye.

*This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No.949525).


Listening In: Conversations on Architectures, Cities and Landscapes 1700-1900

CALL FOR PAPERS: 17 March 2023 (new deadline) 
DATES: 14 and 15 September 2023

ORGANISED BY: Group Hultzsch + Delbeke chair

Who do we listen to when we write histories of architectures, cities, and landscapes? How many women authors can we find among our sources? How many of them are cited by those whose research we read? We argue that women and other marginalised groups have always been part of conversations on architectures, cities, and landscapes - but we have not had the space to listen to them. This conference is an invitation to reconstruct such conversations, real, imagined, and metaphorical ones, taking place in the 18th and 19th centuries, in any region, in order to diversify the ways we write histories. Taking the art of conversation, integral as both practice and form to the period in Western thought, and repurposing it to dismantle the exclusivity of historiography, this conference calls for contributions which bring women into dialogue with others. 

We invite papers on conversations that grapple with hierarchies and inequalities, incorporating asymmetrical power relationships while taking care not to gloss over the struggle, pain, and conflict often occurring in these situations. Papers should highlight at least one protagonist identifying as a woman, and are encouraged to also listen to

  • persons marginalised because of their race, class, religion, sexual orientation, or else,
  • so-called ‘canonical’ figures, both architects and critics as well as those from other professions, disciplines, or domains,
  • individuals from different geographical regions, including those affected by the violence of imperialism and colonialism.

More information here:


Source: The online platform Women Writing Architecture and the website of WoWA 

Source: Bartlett Faculty Youtube Channel 

Women Writing Architecture at The Bartlett’s Gender and Urban Equalities Symposium

Date: 8 March 2023 
Location: The Bartlett Youtube channel 

Explore the intersections of gender with cities, design, construction and communities through a series of interactive online sessions with leading thinkers from the built environment field.

This public event is hosted by The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment.

See the full programme here. 

About The Bartlett 

As one of the oldest and most radical faculties of its kind, The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London (UCL) has built a reputation for education and research that draws students and academics from across the world. 

This panel discussion explores how women participate in architectural culture, and reflect on two projects from ETH Zurich's Department for Architecture:

ERC Women Writing Architecture 1700-1900 (WoWA) explores architectural history beyond the production of buildings and aims to understand the past of the built environment as experienced and shaped by marginalised groups.

Created collaboratively, the online platform Women Writing Architecture (WWA) is offered as a resource for gathering texts, finding and supporting new writers, and offering insight into what is happening in the vivid realm where women speak up for themselves.

Speakers: Dr Sol Perez Martinez, Learning Environments MSc Module Leader, The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, Dr Anne Hultzsch, Group Leader and Principal Investigator, Women Writing Architecture and Helen Thomas, Researcher and Leader of Women Writing Architecture

Writing Her: Making Visible Women Writing Architecture c.1800

Date: 9 January 2023
Location: Casona Alzamora, Rengo, Chile

Colloquium: 10.30-18.00

In this fourth WoWA workshop and colloquium, we are focusing on the practice of writing: her writing between 1700 and 1900, in relation to our writing now. We will explore writing from scratch as well as editing, rewriting and translating.

Taking place in Casona Alzamora, a country house located in a rural valley in the south of Chile, WoWA will be displaced closer to the sites of writing of some of our sources. What happens once we move, once we stay, once we read where she wrote? Connecting with new and old colleagues, we invite neighbours and friends to join us as we read, write and translate her.

Also join us at @ercwowa via Twitter and Instagram.

Escribir de Ella: Visibilizando a Mujeres Escribiendo de Arquitectura c.1800

Fecha: 9 Enero 2023
Ubicación: Casona Alzamora, Rengo, Chile

Coloquio: 14.30-17.30

En este cuarto taller y coloquio de WoWA Women Writing Architecture (en español Mujeres Escribiendo Arquitectura) nos enfocaremos en la práctica de escribir: lo que ella escribe entre 1700 y 1900, y su relación con lo que nosotras escribimos hoy. Exploraremos escribir desde cero, como también editar, reescribir y traducir.

El equipo de Mujeres Escribiendo Arquitectura se desplaza desde Suiza a Casona Alzamora, una casona en un valle rural del sur de Chile, para estar más cerca de los lugares donde algunas de nuestras fuentes escribieron. ¿Qué pasa cuando nos movemos, leemos y escribimos donde ella escribió?

Connectando con colegas nuevas y antiguas, invitamos a vecinos y amigos a leer, escribir y traducirla a ella. Únete en @ercwowa via Twitter e Instagram.

Más información aquí ︎

Group Anne Hultzsch
Department of Architecture / gta
ETH Zurich

HIL D 72.2
Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5
8093 Zurich