MILKA BLIZNAKOV PRIZE
The fifth Milka Bliznakov Research Prize, 2005
This year the Jury awarded three first place awards for the Milka Bliznakov Prize. This was due to the exceptional level of the projects. The following projects from Carmen Alonso Espegel , Madrid, Spain; Isabel Bauer, Berlin, Germany; and Bobbye Tigerman, Winterthur, Delaware are recipients of the 2005 Milka Bliznakov Award. Each project receives the $1000 Award. In announcing their decision, the Jury released the following statements:
Heroines of the Space by Carmen Alonso Espegel
Heroines of the Space, a book by Carmen Alonso Espegel is a brilliant theoretical and historical synthesis that relies on research published in several languages, as well as a great deal of primary research. Her text is the only comprehensive effort known to the jury that stands a chance of truly helping re-write the history of Modern Architecture in the 20th century. It is also feminist scholarship at its best. One third of the book is a theoretical overview of the development of women's roles from traditional societies to the beginning of modernity in Europe. The remaining two thirds are monographic analyses of the work of Eileen Gray, Lilly Reich, Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky and Charlotte Perriand. Though one may think everything there was to be known about them is available; Espegel's analysis reveals new aspects of their work, seen in the context of their contemporaries' production. Although this book is intended for a Spanish-reading audience, large in the world in terms of numbers of speakers, the jury recommends this book for English translation. There is simply no other text that approximates the breath and depth of her analysis on the topic, and no other known that could be so readily embraced as a textbook for course work in the history of Modern Architecture. It is very readable, engaging and thought provoking -- full of original insights.
Architekturstudentinnen der Weimarer Republik by Isabel Bauer
Architekturstudentinnen der Weimarer Republik, Isabel Bauer's path-breaking study of women architects in Weimar, Germany seeks to understand what drew women to study and practice a profession that their contemporaries understood as inherently masculine. This exhaustive history compares two groups of female architectural students in the 1920s and 30s: those enrolled at the Bauhaus, which was closely associated with the modernist avant-garde, and those who studied at the Berlin Technical University with Heinrich Tessenow, an accomplished architect and teacher identified with more traditional movements. This framework allows Bauer to challenge conventional understandings of "modern" and "traditional" in this period, and examine how gender operated within those categories. Bauer's comprehensive analysis goes beyond the classroom, however, to document the subsequent careers of these students, providing fresh and unexpected insights into the architecture of this period. Bauer's research makes a very significant contribution not only to scholarship on gender and architecture, but also to the history of modernism, which is seen here in an unfamiliar and provocative new light.
"I Am Not a Decorator" Florence Knoll, the Knoll Planning Unit, and the Making of the Modern Office by Bobbye Tigerman
"I Am Not a Decorator" Florence Knoll, the Knoll Planning Unit, and the Making of the Modern Office, a master's thesis by Bobbye Tigerman is first rate original research. With probing questions and detailed analysis Bobbye Tigerman manages to establish Florence Knoll's importance in the context of modern architecture in the U.S., and contributes to the analysis of the official history and the great impact that Florence Knoll had in bringing many aspects of the modern movement together with her extensive work. Tigerman writes of the complex contributions of Florence Knoll with extensive archival research complimented by interviews from Knoll designers to document Florence Knoll's professional design education and work in creating a platform for modern architecture. Tigerman's research details the vision for the Knoll Planning Unit and development of the modern office, while weaving whole the fabric of Florence Knoll's life in design. "I Am Not a Decorator" Florence Knoll, the Knoll Planning Unit, and the Making of the Modern Office should be made available to a much larger audience.
About the Milka Bliznakov Prize
The Milka Bliznakov Prize, conferred in recognition of research that advances knowledge of women's contributions to architecture and related design fields, was created to encourage the use and growth of the International Archive of Women in Architecture http://spec.lib.vt.edu/iawa/).
The Board of Advisors of the International Archive of Women in Architecture
(IAWA) Presents this Annual Prize of $1000 Following a
Two Stage Process:
Stage One is an open review of proposals.
Stage Two is by invitation to finalists from stage one.
STAGE ONE: REVIEW OF PROPOSALS
A 500 word proposal with curriculum vitae must be received or postmarked by 1 September 2004. Electronic submissions are encouraged.
Proposals may include original projects, research, or scholarly work, which contributes to and advances the recognition of
women's contributions in design. The board encourages proposals that draw upon or expand the IAWA collections and reflect upon
the broader context of women's contributions in the field of design. The product of the work should be specified in the initial
The IAWA jury may select up to six (6) proposals from the first round of proposals. Authors of these selected proposals will be invited
to continue their work and submit their completed project to the jury for stage two of the Bliznakov Prize.
The prize money will be awarded to the winner following review of the second stage finalists' submissions by this final IAWA jury.
Proposals for stage one should be sent to:
IAWA Executive Committee
ATTN: Donna Dunay, AIA
Chair, Milka Bliznakov Prize Committee
202 COWGILL HALL (0205)
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061