By Women, by Design:
Books by and About Women in Architecture Encourage Awareness, Interest and Involvement in the Profession


According to the American Institute of Architects, women make up 50% of architect students, but only 17% of registered architects in America are women (as of 2020). However, female architects have contributed significantly to the build environment, and in educating others on architecture’s role in improving lives. A special Women in Architecture book collection, highlighting women in architecture, and/or authored by female architects, is designed to raise awareness of the contributions of female architects.

The Women in Architecture collection is a special selection of 25 books within MAF’s ‘100 Essential Architecture Books’ collection, available at Birmingham’s Baldwin Public Library. The entire 100 Essential Architecture Books collection was funded by MAF’s Rae Dumke Development Fund, and curated by Baldwin Library staff and MAF’s Library Committee (chaired by MAF trustee and retired long-time AIA Michigan Executive Director Rae Dumke, Hon. AIA). The collection is available at Baldwin Library and throughout Michigan via interlibrary loan.


Books in the Women in Architecture special selection include:


“The Women in Architecture collection has been circulating well since it was added, and I’m pleased with the response it has had with our patrons so far,” said Rebekah Craft, Library Director, Baldwin Public Library. Rebekah noted that the most popular titles with patrons include Alison and Peter Smithson: Not Quite Architecture, by Christine Boyer; Eileen Gray: Her Life and Her Work, by Peter Adam; and Tastemaker: Elizabeth Gordon, House Beautiful, by Monica Penick.

Rebekah also adds that many libraries are known for having particular book collections and that Baldwin Library is known for its architecture books. “It is rare to see such a collection of architecture books like ours in a library,” said Rebekah. “It is also nice to have the Michigan Architectural Foundation and Michigan architects serve as subject matter experts and recommend which titles we should add to our collection.” (she also wants to remind Baldwin Library patrons that if enough requests are made for a certain title, regardless of its nature, the library also takes that in consideration when adding new books).

She notes that in addition to the Essential Architecture Books and the Women in Architecture books, MAF’s Build Imagination book collection for children is also extremely popular, among our patrons and via the inter-library checkout process. (MAF’s Build Imagination collection was also funded by MAF’s Rae Dumke Development Fund, and curated by staff at Birmingham’s Baldwin Public Library staff and MAF’s Library Committee; read more about it here).

Rebekah adds, “MAF’s Build Imagination Collection is a great way for children to learn about architecture and the world around them. Baldwin Library is proud to have collaborated with the Michigan Architectural Foundation to inspire people of all ages to learn more about architecture.”