The careers of Denise Scott Brown, Cornelia Oberlander, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel and Phyllis Lambert are the focus of City Dreamers – a documentary dedicated to the women that broke through architecture’s glass ceiling.
Each of the architects is notable for being among the first wave of women to enter the industry. Even now, architecture is dominated by men, with a report from the AIA in January 2020 showing that only 17% of registered architects are female.
‘I thought it was really a women’s profession,’ Denise Scott Brown says in the film, which is now available to stream on demand. ‘And I looked across this whole room, and I said, “What are all these men doing here? What do they think they are doing in architecture?”’
In the documentary, directed by Joseph Hillel, the architects recount their firsthand experiences, discussing their approach to design and thoughts on buildings and the city environment. The film strives to tackle some of the issues faced by today’s growing urban environments, drawing on the architects’ experience to answer some of the questions.