International women’s architecture organizations bring international congress to Washington and Blacksburg, VA

In an unprecedented collaboration, the International Archive of Women in Architecture, a center within Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies, will host the 18th Congress of The International Union of Women Architects, known as UIFA, July 26 – 31, 2015. The congress will kick-off in Washington, D.C., and will end in Blacksburg, Virginia.

The congress begins with a reception on Sunday, July 26. On Monday, July 27, guests will take a tour of the great rooms of Washington, D.C., and attend a reception at the national headquarters of the American Institute of Architects. On Tuesday, July 28, congress participants travel by bus to Charlottesville, Virginia where they will tour portions of the University of Virginia, and will then continue on to Blacksburg, Virginia. 

The remaining three days, July 29 through July 31, will offer a variety of tours, presentations, and exhibitions at Virginia Tech. Registration is now open, and the complete schedule and registration are available online at

The event is expected to attract guests from more than 90 countries. 

The 18th UIFA Congress welcomes the submission of papers and exhibits related to the theme of the woman architect and her field of influence, including architecture, construction, research, education and practice. The Congress is hosted by the International Archive of Women in Architecture and coincides with the IAWA’s 30th anniversary.  Submissions of papers and exhibits are an opportunity to continue to create and enhance the networks in the constellation of women’s achievements in architecture. Abstracts should be submitted no later than June 22, and full details on submission are available online 


In hosting the 18th UIFA Congress, the International Archive of Women in Architecture seeks to commemorate its 30th anniversary; to connect and build a network of women in architecture and design; to preserve, highlight, and recognize the professional contributions of women architect and designers; and to provide global education through the dissemination of information about the important role of women in architecture and design.

The congress’s theme, “Contributing to the Constellation,” honors both organizations’ aims to exhibit and elucidate the woman’s influence in the field of architecture and other design disciplines. This idea of a constellation advances the archive’s mission to preserve the works of women pioneers — the first bright stars — in architecture and design.

The inaugural UIFA Congress, “Women in Architecture around the World and The Requirements of the Modern City as Conceived by Women,” was held in Paris, France in 1963. The tradition of the congress continued with an international group of women in architecture and design convening every two to three years in host cities around the world. Recent congresses have been held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in 2013; Seoul, Korea in 2010; and Bucharest, Romania in 2007. 

Donna Dunay, G.T. Ward Professor of Architecture in Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design and chair of the International Archive of Women in Architecture said, “It has been almost 30 years since the UIFA Congress was first held in the United States, and the IAWA is excited to welcome a gathering that carries such weight, importance, and authority to empower, connect, and celebrate women in architecture.”

Virginia Tech’s College of Architecture and Urban Studies is composed of four schools: the School of Architecture + Design, including architecture, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture; the School of Public and International Affairs, including urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy and government and international affairs; the Myers-Lawson School of Construction, which includes building construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and construction engineering management in the College of Engineering; and the School of the Visual Arts, including programs in studio art, visual communication and art history.

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