Gender & Design Education

In this roundtable, three international scholars and teachers will scrutinize the historical trajectories that started when women first enrolled in architecture, agriculture and design schools in Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. We will consider institutionalized barriers as well as explore the various paths women have followed as students and teachers of architecture,
landscape and design.

Exploring these sometimes marginal or alternative paths may mean we have to sideline the idea of the singular creative genius, which has been so dominant in the history of architecture, landscape, and design. We may instead begin to understand design as an expanded practice that involves multiple actors who influence each other and take up different and sometimes conflicting positions.

How, then, can we write the history of architecture and landscape architecture in new ways that recognize the issues of gender, diversity and inclusivity, for example by focusing women in design education? And what are the important issues concerning diversity and inclusion in design education today and how should they be addressed?


Tanja Jordan is Principle Architect at the TJA Studio and is responsible for the landscape architecture program at the Royal Danish Academy, where she also teaches. Together with Rikke Lequick Larsen, Tanja initiated and led the project Female Forces (2007-10), which discussed the historical role of women at the Royal Academy’s architecture program in a book, an international symposium, and an exhibition.

Catharina Nolin is Professor of Art History at the Department of Culture and Aesthetics, Stockholm University. She has researched urban parks in the 19th and 20th centuries widely, and most recently considered women landscape architects of the 20th century, focusing on their contribution to designing, debating, displaying and disseminating ideas about landscape

Matthew Skjonsberg, PhD, is Director of Operations at the Future Cities Laboratory, ETHZFCL Global (, a new initiative whose varied research programs address sustainable cities and settlement systems in Switzerland and Singapore. He is also a lecturer on Civic Design and Program Coordinator for the Doctoral Program of the Institute of Landscape and Urban Studies, ETHZ-LUS (


Svava Riesto and Henriette Steiner, project leaders of the new research project Women in Danish Architecture. A new history of gender and practice. 

The roundtable is organized as part of the international PhD-course, ‘Landscape, Architecture and Gender, find more information at the website: Women in Danish Architecture. A new history of gender and practice