45 min

Beyond Architecture: The Fantasy Worlds of Phyllis Birkby New Angle: Voice

    • Design

We continue our throw-back to the seventies, and take a deeper dive into the many facets of the women’s movement that impacted the practice of architecture. 
Pushed to the side and rarely credited for her architectural work at Davis Brody,  Phyllis Birkby became a significant figure in extending the lesbian women's movement to architecture during the 1970s. Her environmental fantasy workshops played a crucial role in galvanizing the community, providing a creative and empowering space within a male-dominated profession. 
Growing out of other consciousness raising techniques, freed up in her classes, Phyllis released the rigor of her conventional training to get down on the floor,  and lead the group in sketching their fantasies however outlandish on giant rolls of butcher paper.  She encouraged the women to imagine architecture above, below, and beyond the norm. 
Birkby's work not only contributed to architectural discourse but also fostered a sense of collective identity among lesbian architects, highlighting the intersectionality of gender, sexuality, and professional identity in the field. In her later years, she focused on architecture for people marginalized in other ways – by addiction, by age, and by disability, again imagining spaces of community and support.
Welcome to Beyond Architecture: The Fantasy Worlds of Phyllis Birkby
 
Special thanks in this episode to Stephen Vider, MC Overholt, Gabrielle Esperdy, Matthew Wagstaffe, Leslie Kanes Weisman and the Smith College Special Collections.  
This podcast is produced by Brandi Howell, with editorial advising from Alexandra Lange. 
New Angle Voice is brought to you by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.  Funding for this podcast comes from the New York State Council on the Arts.
 

We continue our throw-back to the seventies, and take a deeper dive into the many facets of the women’s movement that impacted the practice of architecture. 
Pushed to the side and rarely credited for her architectural work at Davis Brody,  Phyllis Birkby became a significant figure in extending the lesbian women's movement to architecture during the 1970s. Her environmental fantasy workshops played a crucial role in galvanizing the community, providing a creative and empowering space within a male-dominated profession. 
Growing out of other consciousness raising techniques, freed up in her classes, Phyllis released the rigor of her conventional training to get down on the floor,  and lead the group in sketching their fantasies however outlandish on giant rolls of butcher paper.  She encouraged the women to imagine architecture above, below, and beyond the norm. 
Birkby's work not only contributed to architectural discourse but also fostered a sense of collective identity among lesbian architects, highlighting the intersectionality of gender, sexuality, and professional identity in the field. In her later years, she focused on architecture for people marginalized in other ways – by addiction, by age, and by disability, again imagining spaces of community and support.
Welcome to Beyond Architecture: The Fantasy Worlds of Phyllis Birkby
 
Special thanks in this episode to Stephen Vider, MC Overholt, Gabrielle Esperdy, Matthew Wagstaffe, Leslie Kanes Weisman and the Smith College Special Collections.  
This podcast is produced by Brandi Howell, with editorial advising from Alexandra Lange. 
New Angle Voice is brought to you by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.  Funding for this podcast comes from the New York State Council on the Arts.
 

45 min