Forthcoming in English and Spanish in Ra., Revista de Arquitectura, n. 23
A Pyramid of Paperwork: Labors of Imagination and Interpretation in Late Twentieth Century Architectural Practice
Journal Article, Forthcoming Fall 2021

A fundamental shift in employment patterns among architects in North America during the 1960s and 1970s impacted the ways particular kinds of tasks were either monopolized or delegated within firms. This article uses the archive of the US-based architectural firm Gunnar Birkerts and Associates to show evidence of a growing gulf between executive architects and employee architects (particularly women assigned to interiors work), as well as the persistence of chauvinistic practice ideals under changed circumstances. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis building design is shown to be illustrative of the gulf between imaginative and interpretive labors.

Sketch by Gunnar Birkerts and others exploring variations for the catenary structural system of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis building, ca. 1968. BL000573, Gunnar Birkerts papers, Bentley Historical Library.