Female Guests at Final Critics: The Revealing Numbers

12-angry-men-all-male-jury_girlIt’s that time of the year again, when  Architecture Departments hangs up plans and judges students work: the FINAL CRITICS. Schools are buzzing with excitement and smells of concrete and sweat. Each Chair/Studio is out there, naked, displaying what it teaches, what it can and what it cannot do. It is also shopping time for students considering where to go for next semester.Let me quote the D-ARCH ETH itself:

“The final critiques of the fall semester 2015 take place on the 15th and 16th of December 2015 in the professor’s design studios of the Department of Architecture. The semester projects are public and individually presented. They are discussed and graded in the presence of the professor and invited experts.

We have a look at the gender ratio among these “invited experts.”

Now, it comes very handy that, for our little, OCD-much, stupid, and much hated favored activity, the body count of female guests invited to participate at critics, both Yale and the Architecture Department at ETH have uploaded a list of the schedule of so-called “Schlusskritiken“, and in the case of Yale, even the names of the guest critics. Armed with these lists, it is relatively easy to extract the gender ratio at Finals.


At Yale School of Architecture, the critics are not all exterior but mostly staff.

Fall 2015 Final.ai












There are 71 female guests on 151 critics, which represents (as a cross value) 46,7%, very close to the half. Just a little more effort!


First, of all, again, let us shed a tear on the ridiculous amount of female professors among the design chairs: 3/21 (I count 0,5 for each duo): 14.29%

Not all the jury lists are published and available, so out of the 21 design chairs that had final crits, only 9 published online or with a poster their guest list.

Here is the proportion of female guests  by Chair:

1) Angélil

Sandra Bartoli/Guillaume Dopchie/Sam Jacoby/Jeannette Kuo/Dubravka Sekulic/Yvette Vasourkova = 66%

2) Vogt

Prof. em. Roger Diener, Prof. em. Dr. Paul Messerli = 0%

3) Lui (guest professor)

Zhang Li/Milica Topalovic/Nils Havelka = 33%

4)Heringer/Rauch (guest professors)

Ingris Amslinger/ Hannsjörg Voth= 50%

5)Flammer (guest professor)

Anneke Abhelakh/Hans Frei/Davis Van Severen= 33%


Thomas Demand, Peter St John , Fredi Fischli , Niels Olsen = 0%


Odile Seyler/Jacques Lucan/Eric Lapierre/Kersten Geers=25%


Marianne Burkhalter, Christian Sumi, Roger Diener, Philipp Esch = 25%

9)Lehnerer (Assistant Professor)

Job Floris, Oliver Lütjens, Pier Paolo Tamburelli = 0%

Only 2 Chairs out of nine had a good or excellent ratio (Angélil/ Heringer), and 3 Chairs had no female guests (Vogt/ Lehnerer/ Caruso). The other chairs had at least one female guest. This is much worse than Yale, half as less, with an overall ratio of 25% female guests (based on the incomplete data we have available), as the ratio of female students is almost 50%, one would expect that, for the sake of equality, role-models and fair representation, the Chairs (assistants and professors alike) would try harder.

We, at Die Architektin, believe that Chairs and Studios should pay more attention to the gender balance of their jurys. Often, the decision to put a jury together for critics is taken based on soft factors (interests of the chair, personal acquaintances, relation to the topic, expertise, etc.).

Therefore it also appears a conscious decision to have a balanced jury or not.