ArchiteXX: Now What?! Advocacy, Activism, and Alliances in American Architecture since 1968

black and white photo of aerial view of women lying on the grass creating a woman symbol in 1975

Women's School of Planning and Architecture participants forming a woman symbol, Northampton, Massachusetts, 1975. photo / Women's School of Planning and Architecture Records, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College

Now What?! Advocacy, Activism, and Alliances in American Architecture Since 1968 is a traveling exhibition that highlights the history of activism in architecture. The Civil Rights and Women's Movements impacted every facet of U.S. society, including architecture and design. Now What?! Advocacy, Activism, and Alliances in American Architecture Since 1968 links the U.S. design community to larger social and political movements of the late 20th century, placing design practice in the foreground and engaging viewers in critical conversations of history, progress, and the built environment. Now What?! acknowledges national and grassroots efforts by a wide coalition of organizations and professionals to change the face of architecture and design in the U.S.

In recent years, there has been a new wave of initiatives and advocacy emerging in the U.S. that draws attention to these critical issues. This exhibition writes the overlooked histories of activist architects and organizations who were — and still are — at the forefront of the profession's participation in larger social and political movements over the last 50 years and suggests ways forward. This intersectional and interdisciplinary look at the design profession draws historical connections and serves as the only comprehensive narrative of activism in U.S. architecture and design that spans these generations and disparate causes. Now What?! offers an in-depth look at diversity and activism in the design professions since 1968, while crafting a space for public debate and dialogue that is interested in looking back as much as projecting forward.

ArchiteXX is a nonprofit, independent organization that aims to transform the discipline for women in architecture by bridging the academy and practice. Since opening in New York City at Pratt Institute in May 2018, the exhibition has traveled to Woodbury University (Los Angeles), California College of the Arts (San Francisco), McGill University (Montreal), Hobart and William Smith Colleges (Geneva, New York), University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning (Buffalo), and most recently, Co-Prosperity Sphere (Chicago). The exhibition incorporates local histories of the different cities it visits and tells the largely unknown history of how U.S. architects and designers have responded to the major social movements of the late 20th century. This exhibition has been organized by Lori Brown, Andrea Merrett, and Sarah Rafson with curatorial advisors S. Surface, Roberta Washington, and Pascale Sablan. Exhibition designers include Michele Gorman, Florencia Vetcher, Lisa Maione, and Jaime Tanner.

This exhibition was made possible with funding by New York State Council on the Arts. 

If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Christina Leung (