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Article 3

Norma Isa Figueroa


Norma Isa Figueroa, Ph.D., M.Arch, CAAPPR

School of Architecture

University of Texas- Arlington


Image Manipulation: The Advertisement Media and Female Architects in Puerto Rico during the late 1960’s




This paper relates to female architects in Puerto Rico and the advertisement media’s campaign to market a male image of the professional architect. From a Cultural History standpoint, it makes a critical analysis of the advertisements featured in the professional magazine URBE during the 1960’s, in order to demonstrate society’s tendency to ignore women as architects while emphasizing the identity of the architect as male. It argues that, as a reflection of society, the advertisements portrayed the image of the architect as a gentleman while maintaining the image of women linked to the domestic. While women were portrayed as inhabitants of the domestic sphere, the masculine ideals of work guaranteed the continuity of the idea of the male architect, giving it an advantageous positioning in the field of construction. The stereotyped images used granted more value to masculine attributes, maintaining the belief that the work of women was subordinated to the work of man; all framed by a period when women architects were beginning to join the profession. While workingwomen, particularly female architects, were trying to make their mark in society, the articles published by the press evidence the systematic disregard they were subjected to by the same institutions they were subjects of: the School, the Profession and the Family.