chapter  22
13 Pages

Architectural Language and Mistranslations

A Comparative Global Approach to Women’s Urban Spaces
WithDespina Stratigakos

From Dallas to Berlin, urban landscapes were transformed at the turn of the twentieth century by a novel type of builder: women. This chapter examines the architectural politics of women's clubhouses in London, Berlin and New York to suggest how a comparative approach to gendered space might address both local and transnational perspectives. This approach reveals both the extent and limitations of a common language in architecture that could be evoked to overcome national boundaries in the search for a globalization of women's spaces. The chapter focuses on how architectural language translates and the slippages of meaning – in some cases quite disastrous – that occur in the import and export of spatial concepts. The clubhouses – as material objects in the urban landscape – also point to the importance of scale in considering how women shaped material expressions of their urban identities.