The International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) was established in 1985 as a joint program of the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design and the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. The purpose of the Archive is to document the history of women’s contributions to the built environment by collecting, preserving, and providing access to the records of women’s architectural organizations and the professional papers of women architects, landscape architects, designers, architectural historians and critics, and urban planners.

The IAWA collections have always been open to scholars, students, and public researchers around the world. Historically, this meant traveling to Virginia Tech and visiting the University Libraries’ Special Collections Department to see materials in person. Through this website, today’s researchers also have access to a growing library of digitized documents and visual materials from the IAWA collections. 


Today, the IAWA documents the legacies of more than 435 individuals, firms, organizations, and exhibits from the 1890s through the present day. The permanent collections include approximately 2000 cubic feet of documents, photographs and negatives, architectural drawings, sketches, scrapbooks, building models, presentation boards, and other materials that capture the creative process. The IAWA also collects books, biographical information, and other published materials as part of its mission to act as a clearinghouse of information about the global history of women in architecture.

Women who are interested in enhancing the historic record of architecture and related design professions should visit the Special Collections donations page or contact the IAWA Archivist for more information about donating materials to the IAWA.




Paola Zellner graduated from Universidad de Buenos Aires and practiced architecture in Argentina and Uruguay. She obtained a Masters Degree from SCI-Arc, practiced in Los Angeles with Norman R. Millar Architects, and together with Jim Bassett started the practice Zellner + Bassett. She taught at Woodbury University, the University of Michigan, and is currently an Associate Professor at Virginia Tech. Her creative work with the IAWA includes the installation “30 x 30,” shown internationally, and for which she received the 2018-2019 ACSA Creative Achievement Award. Her scholarship has been published in Museum making: Narratives, Architectures, Exhibitions (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012), in ACSA, and in the journal Bitácora Arquitectura #33 (2017).



Sharóne L. Tomer, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture at Virginia Tech, where she teaches design studios and urbanism courses. She is also a 2019/2020 Fellow at the Israel Institute of Advanced Studies, participating in the research group “Re-theorizing the Architecture of Housing as Grounds for Research and Practice.” Her research explores how architectural practices operate within and address conditions of urbanized inequality, attending to issues of race, gender, class and climate change, and addressing topics including modernism, housing, public space, and architectural activism. Her current book project is based upon her doctoral research, which examined architects’ aspirations for political and
spatial change in late-apartheid Cape Town. Her latest research project investigates relationships between race, contested histories, and transforming space and political-economies in Appalachia.



Elizabeth Keslacy is an architectural historian and design educator whose work deals with postwar and postmodern architecture and urbanism, the museology of design, and the discipline’s intellectual history. She is currently writing a book entitled Concrete Leisure: Public Space, Recreation, and Black Political Agency in the American Rust Belt that examines fantastical urban landscapes built in the post-Civil Rights era, as Black communities took on the leadership of major cities in the American Midwest. Her dissertation research traced the history of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to its origins as a decorative arts teaching museum within The Cooper Union to unpack how the decorative arts were reformulated as “design” in the twentieth century. Keslacy has taught design and history at the University of Michigan, Lawrence Technological University, Kendall College of Art and Design, and most recently at Miami University of Ohio. Her research has been supported by the Graham Foundation, the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities, the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, and the Miami University Humanities Center. Her work has been published in the Journal of Architectural Education, Footprint, Thresholds, OASE, Architecture Theory Review and Lotus International.



Hunter Pittman is an associate professor in the School of Architecture at Virginia Tech. From 2016 to 2020, he served as the Director of the School. He previously served as chair of the Graduate Program in Architecture (2014-2016) and, before that, as chair of the Professional undergraduate Architecture (B.Arch.) Program, where he taught Architecture III design laboratory, Building Assemblies, and Building Analysis in the third year of the B.Arch. program and advised fifth-year thesis students. Prof. Pittman has also taught basic design and environmental building systems in the Graduate Program, as well as advising graduate thesis students. He received the College’s 2014 Certificate for Excellence in Teaching and the School’s 2014 J. Stoeckel Design Lab Teaching Excellence Award. In 1999, he was awarded the University Certificate for Teaching Excellence.



Yaoyi Zhou, Ph.D., serves as an Assistant Professor of Interior Design at Virginia Tech. His research interests focus on the emerging design concepts and the impacts on the building occupant’s social interaction and other behavioral outcomes. His research can be found in publications such as the Journal of Facilities Management, Journal of Corporate Real Estate, Facilities, and Cornell Real Estate Review. He also serves as a board member of the Transdisciplinary Workplace Research (TWR) network.



Donna Dunay, FAIA, is Chair Emerita of the International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) and Professor Emerita of Architecture in the School of Architecture at Virginia Tech. She is a Distinguished Professor of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (DPACSA). She holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from Virginia Tech. Her research and scholarship have broadened the professional linkages to history and planning emphasizing the architectural dimension of civic responsibility. As chair for thirty years and advisor to the board in the IAWA, she led the organization from its development phase to an institution of national and international reputation. She has lectured and mounted exhibitions on the IAWA at the International Congress of Women Architects at meetings in Tokyo, Japan; Toulouse, France; Bucharest, Romania; and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. As a result of her research in town settlement and architecture, she conceived and organized a national competition to focus on the simultaneity of planning and architecture in the form of a Center for Civic Activity. In addition, her book Town Architecture has become a planning tool and reference for public officials and for students of architecture for study and research. She has served on eight National Architectural Accreditation Board Teams, chairing four. She has served on the National AIA Diversity Committee to initiate the National AIA Diversity Award. She has been a member of the Braun Prize Forum, an international competition to selects the best student industrial design work worldwide during a two-year period. Her work has received multiple awards including the Distinguished Planning Award by the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association, three Awards of Excellence in Architecture from the American Institute of Architects, Virginia Society, and the Inform Award for product design. 


In 1988, Rebecca Chestnutt founded Chestnutt Niess Architekten BDA in Berlin with her partner Robert Neiss. Rebecca Chestnutt is a Registered Architect, Chamber of Architects, Berlin and member of the Bund Deutsche Architekten. She has been recognized by multiple architectural awards throughout her career including recognition by the Deutscher Holzbaupreis, Architekturpreis Berlin and the IOC / IAKS Award in Gold. She has served in several professional and honorary positions, including Member of the Advisory Commission for Architecture and Urban Development for the City of Würzburg, Germany, and from 2003 to 2013, Member of the Professional Women’s Advisory Council of the Ministry of Urban Development Berlin, Germany. Since 1995, she has served as Member of the Advancement Society for BAUKULTURE, Germany. Rebecca Chestnutt has also held several teaching positions beginning in2000 assisting Prof. Axel Busch, at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin. In 2003, she served as Guest Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Kunsthochschule Berlin. Since 2013, she has been Chair of the Graduate Program in Architecture, HFT-Stuttgart, Germany. Rebecca Chestnutt received the Bachelor of Architecture, Virginia Tech in 1980 and Master of Architecture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia in 1981.


Kristine K. Fallon, FAIA, Chicago, Illinois, has been a pioneer in applying information technology to architecture, engineering and facility management since the 1970’s. After 15 years as a licensed architect in large A/E firms, she founded Kristine Fallon Associates, Inc. in 1993 to focus on the use of information technology in the design and construction industry. She has helped AEC firms and government and corporate facilities groups nationwide evaluate and implement technology systems. In addition, she has provided research and expertise to software developers serving the AEC market. In 1995, Fallon was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in recognition of her achievement in enhancing the technical proficiency of the profession. In 2001 she received the Ed Forrest Award for Excellence in Design/ Construction Automation. Her book, The AEC Technology Survival Guide: Managing Today’s Information Practice, published by John Wiley & Sons, appeared in 1997. In 2000 she managed a major software evaluation project that resulted in the 2001 CAD for Principals CAD Software Evaluation Report, published by PSMJ Resources, Inc. Fallon has been active in the AIA and numerous industry committees, lecturing and publishing extensively. She leads CAD For Principals, a grassroots industry-based effort to improve the information technology tools available for the design and construction industry. She writes a monthly column for PSMJ Best Practices and has spoken at major industry conferences in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Germany, Israel and Singapore. 


Solange D’Herbez de la Tour was born in 1924 in Bucharest, Romania. She received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Bucharest and then earned a degree in urban planning from the Polytechnical School of Bucharest. Herbez de la Tour moved to Paris, and opened her own architecture firm there. In Paris, she designed over 5,000 apartment units, public and cultural buildings, sports buildings, day nurseries, hospitals, elementary schools, and planning for new towns. She is the founder of the Union internationale des femmes architectes (English: International Union of Women Architects). She lives in Paris. Her notable awards include: Chevalier, National Order of Merit, 1965; Officer, Legion of Honour, 1981; American Institute of Architects Honorary Fellowship, 1986.


Ochirpureviin is the winner of the 1999 Laureate Prize of the Union of Mongolian Architects for her Margad Shopping Center, located in Mongolia. Sarantsatsral runs her own office, a four-person firm named Urkh Company, Ltd., located in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.  Sarantsatsral’s primary focus is on commercial and institutional work.  In 2000, Sarantsatsral also received a medal from the city government of Ulan Bataar and the Union of Mongolian Architects for her master plan of the Gandantegchilen Monastery, the most important monastery in Mongolia.  Sarantsatsral studied at the Mongolian Technical University in Ulan Bataar, completing her architectural degree in 1979.


Junko Matsukawa-Tsuchida, UIFA, is an architect with degrees from the University of Tokyo and is currently Chair and representative director of the Laboratory for Innovators of Quality of Life. She has a record of extensive professional service activities, serving as Vice-chair of the Union Internationale des Femmes Architectes Japon. She has also served as Chair of the Women’s Architect Committee of the Tokyo Society of Architects and Building Engineers as well as serving as Executive Chair of the Planning Committee for the 1998 UIFA Japon Convention. In addition, she has both published and spoken extensively on the topic of women in architecture.


Si-Hwa, Bae’s CV


Tanja is a Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, UK. As she states, “Most of my recent publications discuss immigrant and exiled architects. My paper ‘Changing Places’, for example, analyses how the emigrant architects Erwin Winkler and Fritz Eisenhofer navigated the architectural context of the 1950s and 1960s in New Zealand, where a national architectural idiom was developed and international precedents rejected.” Her paper ‘Raumplan after Loos’ discusses the European Work of Heinrich Kulka, who immigrated to New Zealand in 1938. It investigates the ways in which Kulka interpreted and developed Adolf Loos’ Raumplan principles. The paper ‘Before 1939. Émigré architects to New Zealand 1933 to 1939’ finally, analyses the backgrounds and work experiences of 14 architects prior to them immigrating to New Zealand in order to contribute to a growing body of research that is interested in ‘transculturation’ as a shaping force in architecture. Since winning the Milka Bliznakov Research Prize in 2016 I have furthermore been working on a book project on German-speaking women architects who fled the Nazi Regime to the USA prior to 1940. The Milka Bliznakov Research Prize is organised by the International Archives of Women in Architecture. The primary material of refugee women that is held at their archives is going to be the core of this project. My research interests also concern early 20th-century architects who developed architectural spaces based on theoretical ideas of the dweller. Since my doctoral thesis Das Neue Bauen für den Neuen Menschen I am investigating such questions and my papers ‘Sensations of Space and modern Architecture’ and ‘Spaces of elevated personal life’ offer insights as to how architects translated theories that had been developed in subject areas such as medicine, philosophy or biology into architectural spaces. My edited book Glamour and Gloom, published by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society (UAHS), is the result of my teaching history and theory modules and dissertations. The book consists of case studies and essays written by architecture students at the Belfast school of architecture on buildings of the 1930s. This project aims to support young researchers, to increase awareness of modern buildings within the cityscape in Belfast and broaden knowledge and understanding of the complexities of heritage and preservation within the contemporary built environment. Her long-term research project Refugee and émigré female architects before 1940 (Working Title) is a comparative study that examines the work of German-speaking women architects who immigrated to the United States in 1938 and 1939. It questions the ways in which their expertise, schooling and outlook changed in the new contexts, but also investigates the ways in which their knowledge of the ‘International Style’ was perceived by architects and architectural associations.


Ana is an Architect graduated from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá, Colombia (2001) and Masters in Cultural Heritage and Territory candidate. She has worked in different fields of architecture including construction and academia, but also has ample experience as a cultural manager and the editor of A57 Arquitectura en Colombia, a platform founded by her that has promoted since 2008 the culture of architecture and design in Colombia. Since March 2018, Ana Maria coordinates together with architect Ximena Covaleda, the initiative Arquitectas Colombianas, a project allied with the Ibero American initiative, Un día | Una Arquitecta, that seeks to promote the recovery of memory, highlight the contributions, and support the activities developed by Colombian women in architecture and design. Ana is also a bass player in the band La Paralela (the parallel bar), a project that explores intersections between music, architecture, design and popular culture. The band has been awarded the 2018 Scholarship for Interdisciplinary Creation offered by the Instituto Distrital de las Artes de Bogotá – Idartes. Ana firmly believes that architecture is not only about producing architectural design. The projects and initiatives that she participates in are directed toward making architecture a more open discipline that is more accessible to the general public.


Ingalill Wahlroos-Ritter is an architect, educator, and consultant specializing in the building envelope and experimental use of glass. In partnership with Roland Wahlroos-Ritter, her architectural practice, W-ROAD, navigates transdisciplinary territory in the diverse type and scale of projects, and she has collaborated on multiple award-winning projects as architect and façade consultant. Their latest project is the renovation of the Los Angeles Mission, at 156,000 sf, one of the nation’s largest service providers to the unsheltered and a first step towards a stabilized home by re-establishing dignity and a sense of belonging. Ingalill has forged barrier-breaking educational pathways and launched programs that support her vision of education for all. She served as Dean of Woodbury School of Architecture from 2016-2021, and has taught at Yale, Cornell, the Bartlett (UCL), and SCI-Arc over a 23-year teaching career. She currently teaches in the architecture department at East Los Angeles College, California’s largest community college. As founder and Director of WUHO, the Woodbury University Hollywood gallery, she produced over 100 exhibitions celebrating social justice-focused design. She currently serves as President of Architecture for Communities Los Angeles (ACLA), a non-profit organization launched by AIA LA to focus on education and community outreach, and as chair of the Education Committee for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Ingalill was elevated to the AIA College of Fellows in 2018 for outstanding contributions to the profession and the academy, a distinction awarded to 3% of architects in the US. She is also the recipient of the 2016 AIA California Council Educator Award, the 2018 AIA|LA Presidential Educator of the Year Award and has been recognized twice by DesignIntelligence as one of the nation’s Most Admired Educators in Architecture and Design in 2018 and 2019.


Claire taught architectural history for ongoing architects from 1999 to 2022 at Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. She was the recipient of IAWA’s inaugural Milka Bliznakov Research Prize in 2000 on the work of Adrienne Gorska. Bonney holds a doctorate from the University of Zurich with a dissertation entitled “Thérèse Bonney: the architectural photographs.” She is actively involved with the National Register of Historic Places in northern New York State where she grew up  and co-authored with Maureen Barros the 2022 multiple property documentation of “Stone Buildings of Jefferson County, New York, 1800 – 1875.” Most recently she has transcribed 250 nineteenth-century family letters and, together with her sister, donated them to the Library of Congress.


Zahira Asmal is the director of The City, a research, publishing and placemaking company she founded in 2010. She has worked with architects, academics, cultural institutions, governments and the media globally, initiating and facilitating projects focused on architecture, culture and inclusive city making. Her first book Reflections & Opportunities was published in English and Brazilian Portuguese and was presented in 17 cities around the world. Zahira’s second book Movement comprises three editions, which looked at the social, spatial, political, economic and cultural movements that have shaped South Africa’s big cities. Zahira is also the director of Designing For All, a nonprofit company founded on the notion that good design practice, through ideas, creativity, connectivity, culture and technology, will create inclusive spaces and places for all citizens. The company, through government engagement and collaboration, seeks to improve procurement processes, and better design and management of public infrastructure in South Africa. In July 2012, Zahira was selected to represent South Africa at the International Architecture & Design Showcase in London. There, she curated an exhibition titled A Nation Under Construction, telling the story of South Africa’s contemporary urbanism, architecture and social development through portraits, reportage, landscape and cityscape combined with a moving image installation. Zahira initiated and conceptualised a placemaking project that re-imagines underused and abandoned spaces at Johannesburg’s prominent Park Station, said to be Africa’s busiest transport node, with 1 million people moving through the precinct each weekday. Zahira has worked with renowned architect Sir David Adjaye OBE on his book Adjaye Africa Architecture and accompanying exhibition Urban Africa. The pair are once again working together, this time on an urban pavilion located at a site of special historical interest in Johannesburg. Her current project, See, explores contested urban histories, equal representation in the memorialisation of history and the construction of resilient postcolonial urban identities. Zahira serves as the advisor to the Africa Architecture Awards.


Althea is a founding partner and co-director of her Johannesburg-based practice, LEMONpebble Architects and Urban Designers. She is a graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of the Witwatersrand and is a professional architect based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her practice has executed work in both the public and private sectors with projects ranging from university and other education buildings, housing projects, corporate and public buildings, urban development frameworks and private homes at various scales and in multiple contexts. As a researcher, she is also immersed in thinking through being a black woman architect and its implications to discourses on identity, marginalized/erased histories and narrative, archival praxes, feminist practice and spatial politics. She is interested in how these manifest/are explored in the projects and other built infrastructures produced in her practice. Althea’s experience as a guest critic, at various universities for under- and post-grad students for over a decade, feeds back into her practice, and writing, which promotes and is at the confluence of critical spatial thinking and spatial justice.


The IAWA Student Organization is a collaboration between Virginia Tech student liaisons and Paola Zellner-Bassett. The student liaisons share the IAWA’s mission of acknowledging women’s dedication and the underrepresented value of  their legacy. Students volunteer time to meet with each other, so they may invent and advance chosen initiatives. They directly engage with archival materials, making them visible to the public via Instagram and exhibits. They are also involved with planning and hosting the annual IAWA Symposium, which typically happens in Blacksburg, VA, during the spring semester.

The IAWA encourages its members to play an active role in research through archiving and advocates for them to disseminate their knowledge to the public by creating open conversations.  We hope to inspire our liaisons to cultivate their own leadership and continue to raise awareness beyond student life.