BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 31, 2007 – The International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA), a center of Virginia Tech's School of Architecture + Design, has awarded a Commendation to Eran Ben-Joseph, professor of landscape architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Holly D. Ben-Joseph, landscape architect in Acton, Mass.; and Anne C. Dodge, a city planner in Cambridge, Mass., for their project, Against All Odds: MIT's Pioneering Women of Landscape Architecture in the sixth annual Milka Bliznakov Prize.
The project frames the "influential, yet little-known and short-lived landscape architecture program at MIT between 1900 and 1909."
This work brings an important focus to one of two landscape architecture programs in the United States at that time and gathers information identifying the key figures who contributed to this unique program and the women who went on to find success in landscape architecture. The project is commended as a seed for further research and publication. Against all Odds suggests a challenge to other researchers to identify and illuminate other programs around the world that pioneered welcoming women to architecture and the related design fields.
The International Archive of Women in Architecture annually invites architects, scholars, and researchers to conduct original research on women in architecture and related design fields. This research, in concert with the efforts of the IAWA to preserve the archival materials of women who shaped the built and designed environments, helps fill the current void in historical knowledge about women's professional achievements. The prize is named for IAWA founder and a Virginia Tech Professor Emerita of Architecture Milka Bliznakov, of Blacksburg.
The first stage of submission for this award involves a 500-word proposal for an original project, research, or scholarly work that contributes to and advances the recognition of women's contributions in design. The IAWA Board of Advisors encourages proposals that draw upon or expand the IAWA collections. One year later, invited finalists submit their finished projects.
The College of Architecture and Urban Studies is one of the largest of its type in the nation. The college is composed of three schools and the Department of Art and Art History, part of the multi-college School of the Arts. The School of Architecture + Design includes programs in architecture, industrial design, interior design, and landscape architecture. The School of Public and International Affairs includes programs in urban affairs and planning, public administration and policy, and government and international affairs. The Myers-Lawson School of Construction, a joint school of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Engineering, includes programs in building construction and construction management. The college enrolls more than 2,000 students offering 25 degrees taught by 160 faculty members.