Three Colours: White/ Egalité: Women on the Edge - Meet the Speaker Sabina Riss

Women in Architecture are presenting a series of three events: Three Colours: Blue White Red. The second event White in October is in collaboration with the RIBA and Herman Miller and deals with in-between spaces and gender. We explore barriers, exchange, exploitation and their relationship to spaces and architecture.

Sabina Riss, University of Technology, Vienna

The city of Vienna has one of the highest qualities of life as well as a high reputation for gender sensitive urban planning. New built housing quarters feature family-orientated design, characterised by the proximity of infrastructure and public transport systems and by lively public courtyards. Generous access areas and shared facility spaces encourage neighbourly interactions. Apartments with flexible layouts provide affordable, multi-generational, and barrier free living. To ensure these qualities, the implementation of gender mainstreaming in the City’s planning administration was essential.

The inclusion of women’s perspectives in urban planning started almost three decades ago, initiated by a female urban district planner who became head of Vienna’s first women’s office. Later, establishing a coordination office for gender-sensitive planning at the highest level of the city administration was proved successful.

Recent women-orientated housing projects in Vienna include female co-housing groups with women-only rental contracts. Meeting special living requirements of single parents is the dedication of several other housing projects. Both aim to shape public discussion and inspire housing policy.

Sabina Riss, University of Technology, Vienna

Sabina Riss, University of Technology, Vienna

Sabina Riss is a registered architect, university lecturer and researcher based in Vienna. Her main scientific areas is gender perspective on housing and urban planning as well as on professional field architecture. She is co-author of various scientific studies for public clients and is an invited speaker, expert and consultant with a gender focus. Her PhD examines women`s impulses on housing and urban planning of the 20th century and is a first systematic documentation and analysis of women-orientated model housing projects in Austria in the 1990s. 

Besides teaching at the housing department of Vienna`s University of Technology, she taught at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and was invited visiting professor at the Technical University of Regensburg. Her career as a practising architect started in London, working at Alsop Architects, Grimshaw Architects and BDP on international mixed-use developments, infrastructure and office buildings. As a self-employed architect and practising back again in Vienna her major interest became housing, which she further developed with socio-political research.  

Meet Sabina and hear more about Vienna: Planning a Women Oriented City by joining us at the White event on October 10th. Register here.