ABOUT THE ARCHIVE
I. In general
It was considered appropriate –in the Digital Archive of Greek Female Architects1923-1981– those who graduated between 1923 and 1981, to be included first. And this for two reasons:
The period, which essentially begins with the foundation in 1917 of the School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) and the attendance of the first women in it, ends with the strong presence of female architects –graduates of Greek and foreign Schools of Architecture– in the profession (1981). It includes Greek women architects who today (2021) have completed at least forty years from the acquisition of their diploma, and most of them are retirees. Therefore, they have more or less completed their careers.
II. Basic elements of the Archive
The texts of the archive are basically written in Greek. The ‘Home Page’, the chapter ‘About the Archive’, the Identity of each architect and her Concise CV are also in English.
The archive is dynamic. In other words, it can be supplemented and enriched with new elements in the existing posts. It may include new posts of CVs and work of colleagues that we have not yet approached, and who –or their descendants– wish to be included in the archive.
Τhe Attica Department of the Association of Greek Architects (SADAS) intends to keep this archive in operation as it is part of the history of Architects and the History of Architecture and Urban Planning in our country. It also intends to run it as an open (non-profit) archive available to researchers, students of Architecture, to architects in Greece and worldwide, as well as to anyone interested in Architecture.
III. Historical – social – working context of women Architects in the 20th century and first decades of the 21st century.
The establishment of the National Technical University Athens School of Architecture in 1917 takes place at a time of legislative initiatives for the first decrees in the field of construction, which will be instituted immediately after the Asia Minor Disaster of 1922 and the beginning of the interwar period.
The period from 1917 to the end of the 1980s is a time of dramatic historical events and national tragedies that will constantly interrupt the process of modernization of the Greek state and adversely affect the architectural profession.
At the same time, it is a period of remarkable emancipation of Greek women, through their participation in the struggles of Resistance and their claims in the workplace, in life itself and in education.
The need of the developing civic state for specialized engineers will lead many women to the male-dominated National Technical University of Athens and especially to its School of Architecture.
From 1923 to 1949 (immediately after the Civil War), within a period of 26 years, Greece had 26 women architects. Right afterwards and until 1955 their number rose to about 40, until 1960 to 52, until 1965 to over 170, and from then on their number is increasing rapidly.
Since the 1980s women architects will make their presence felt in the new Schools of Architecture of other Universities in Greece, as well as in Universities abroad. In fact, during the period, which extends from 1980 to the 2004 Olympic Games, female students flood the Schools of Architecture. Their numerical superiority continues in the years of the economic crisis, until the coronavirus pandemic violently stops it.
At the NTUA School of Architecture, for example, in 1981, about 70% of the students were women.
After completing their basic and postgratuate studies, the data in the labor market are usually reversed, with the positions of responsibility being filled mainly by their male colleagues.
Women architects have worked –and are still working– in all areas of the profession exactly as their male colleagues: in the private sector, in the public and wider public sector, in academia and in research. However, they are not usually promoted for their work to the same degree as their male colleagues.
It is also well known that as freelancers they have worked –and still work– usually in groups with spouses and male relatives or friends, resulting in their contribution being underestimated or even forgotten.
Although immediately after the Second World War women architects are mainly recruited by government agencies and by the wider public sector –ministries, technical services of local government, state companies or the ones of public interest, etc.–, serving at all levels, their work remains “anonymous”. The same applies to the work of women in private companies, in cooperative groups with male colleagues, but also to the relatively few women architects who practice their liberal profession from positions of primary responsibility. The opposite is true –as a rule– only for women in academia and research, especially after the mid 1980s, as the documentation and publication of their work are prerequisites for their career development.
IV. Compilation of the Archive
The ongoing research, collection, recording, processing and documentation of the biographical data and the work of the colleagues of the Archive started in May 2020 by the scientific committee of the Attica Department of SADAS that has undertaken the work.
The method for compiling the Archive consists of the following stages:
a. Search of existing registers in order to locate Greek women architects who graduated between 1923 and 1981.
b. Communication, first of all, with the older ones or with their descendants – heirs in order to save data and informations about their work from total oblivion. The initial material was supplemented with research documentation.
c. The collection of material was based on a questionnaire, prepared by the scientific committee, which at the same time constituted the structure of the post for each architect.
d. The questionnaire, accompanied by an invitation from the Attica Department of SADAS and information about the Archive, has been sent to more than 200 colleagues either directly to them or to their descendants. The collection of material to date concerns 80 colleagues and it is carried on…
e. The individual posts of the biographies, the list of projects, the publications and other important activities for each woman architect is accompanied by illustrations of her main projects and characteristic personal photos. The posts are finalized after the approval of the architect or her descendant.
f. In many cases, beyond the requested material related to the architectural activity of each female architect, we received: original literary texts, poems, paintings, texts of assessments of the working environment and their time. This makes the Archive a source of living historical evidence, expanding the boundaries of women’s involvement in architecture.
g. A first processing of the data has given:
• In alphabetical order of the last name (surname) of each (in Greek )
• By date of graduation
The possibility of compiling, with the use of keywords, lists of the Archive’s women architects, by:
• Faculty of both basic and postgraduate studies, and of postgraduate degrees and doctorates.
• Professional employment category.
• Project category.
The composition of the scientific committee presented below which has dealt with the Archive, in addition to the common architectural education of its members and their relevant field of activity –at various levels and sectors of the profession–, enabled the interdisciplinary approach of the rich archival material and its presentation from multiple angles.
Scientific Commitee for the Compilation of the Digital Archive of Greek Women Architects
JULIA TSALIKI, Architect – AUTh, Postgraduated Studies in Spatial and Regional Planning – Panteion University, Chairman of the Board of the Attica Department of SADAS (2018-2021).
OURANIA OIKONOMOU,Architect – AUTh, General Secretary of the Board of the Attica Department of SADAS (2018-2021). She is the representative of the Board of Directors in the scientific committee of the Attica Department of SADAS’ Workshop: Architecture Routes in Attica from the rise of Modernism until now from the first year of its formation in 2016.
SALOMI CHATZIVASILEIOU, Dr architect – NTUA.
STAMATINA GEORGOPOULOU, Dr architect – NTUA. She served in the local government and today in public administration. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Attica Department of SADAS’ Workshop: Architecture Routes in Attica from the rise of Modernism until now from the first year of its formation in 2016.
HELEN FESSAS-EMMANOUIL, Dr architect – NTUA, Professor Emeritus of the University of Athens, Architectural historian.
LENA KARKA, Architect – NTUA, Dr Spatial Planner – Paris I – Panthéon – Sorbonne, with postdoctoral dissertations in urban planning and spatial planning. She worked as a University lecturer and served at the Ministry for the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works and at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
MYRIANTHI MOUSSA, Architect and PhD candidate – NTUA. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Attica Department of SADAS’ Workshop: Architecture Routes in Attica from the rise of Modernism until now from the first year of its formation in 2016.
ELENI OUREILIDOU, Architect and PhD candidate – AUTh.
ANTONIA PANOU, Architect – NTUA, with a 40-year career as freelancer and over ten years of archiving experience. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Attica Department of SADAS’ Workshop: Architecture Routes in Attica from the rise of Modernism until now, from the first year of its formation in 2016. Antonia Panou is responsible for the SADAS online platform: www. Attikipedia.sadas-pea.gr.
VASSO ROUSSI, Dr architect – NTUA. Worked at the Ministry of Culture, served at the Ministry of Culture’s Ephorate of modern monuments in Attica. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Attica Department of SADAS’ Workshop: Architecture Routes in Attica from the rise of Modernism until now, from the first year of its formation in 2016.
ELENI TZIRTZILAKI, Dr architect – NTUA and community artist with unusual architectural – artistic work. She focuses on gender issues, alternative forms of housing and urban space.
FANI VAVYLI, Dr architect – AUTh, Professor Emeritus of AUTh, President of the Greek Department of UIA.
In addition to all the above-mentioned members of the scientific committee, the following have contributed to the collection and processing of the Archive’s material (listed in alphabetic order):
LOUIZA KALOUSI, Graduate of the Renovation and Restoration of Buildings School in Patras, Student of Architecture at the Technical University of Crete.
ELLI LEPTOURGOU, Architect – NTUA.
ILIA LYMPERI, Architect – Democritus University of Thrace.
MARIANNA TZIANTZI, Architect – NTUA, journalist-writer.
YIOTA PAPPA, Architect – Democritus University of Thrace.
ALIKI TOUFEXI-NATSI, Architect – AUTh.
The following architects, listed in alphabetical order, have contributed to the research –archival, bibliographic, online–, field surveys and collection of oral testimonies necessary for the CVs of colleagues who have passed away:
STAMATINA GEORGOPOULOU, HELEN FESSAS-EMMANOUIL, LOUIZA KALOUSSI, MYRIANTHI MOUSSA, ELENI OUREILIDOU, ANTONIA PANOU, GIOTA PAPPA, VASSO ROUSSI and FANI VAVILI.
KATERINA TORAKI, Chemist Engineer and Librarian, former head of the Technical Chamber of Greece library, has also contributed –as a consultant– to the organization of the archive and the relevant indexes – catalogs.
Coordinator of the scientific committee and responsible for the collection of the material, word processing and organization of the platform:
ANTONIA PANOU, Architect – NTUA, with over ten years of experience in archiving.
Scientific supervision of the project:
HELEN FESSAS-EMMANOUIL, Dr architect – NTUA, Professor Emeritus of the University of Athens,
Posting of text-iconographic material, editing for adaptation to the platform and its graphic organization and performance:
MARIA AIVALI, Architect, University of Patras.
Digital file rendering:
ALEXANDROS BINOPOULOS, Digital Developer.
Digital file graphic design:
DIMITRIS MITSOPOULOS, Web and graphic Designer.
From this position and on behalf of the scientific committee, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the architects presented in this Archive or to their descendants who intrusted us with their archives. Their contribution was decisive. Without it, this project would not have come to light.
I would also like to thank the Board of the Attica Department of SADAS for its trust in the scientific committee that undertook this important project.
On behalf of the scientific committee for the compilation of the Digital Archive of Female Greek Architects of the Attica Department of SADAS,
Antonia Panou, Architect – NTUA. Athens, June 2021