Yale University academic recognized for her work on social justice in built environments

The National Building Museum has awarded its 24th Vincent Scully Prize to Dolores Hayden, award-winning author, and professor emerita of architecture, urbanism, and American studies at Yale University. Photo by Laura Amador, courtesy Dolores Hayden website

The National Building Museum has awarded its 24th Vincent Scully Prize to Dolores Hayden, award-winning author, and professor emerita of architecture, urbanism, and American studies at Yale University, because of her influential work on highlighting gender and race stereotypes embedded in American built environments.

Established in 1999, the Scully Prize recognizes excellence in practice, scholarship, or criticism in architecture, historic preservation, and urban design. She joins esteemed past recipients, including Mabel O. Wilson, Elizabeth Meyer, Robert Campbell and Inga Saffron.

public program to present the award to Hayden will take place on Monday, Oct 3, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the National Building Museum, where she will discuss the concept of “urbanism of care.” Hayden’s work has dealt with documenting the beginnings of this concept from the 1860s through the 1920s, when women proposed a broader definition of public infrastructure. They argued for cities’ investments in public infrastructure to extend beyond water supply systems, paved streets, schools, and transit to include childcare centers in workplaces, free kindergartens and public kitchens.

Hayden’s book The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities (1981) details the material feminists’ egalitarian visions. Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000 (2003) critiques the segregated metropolitan landscapes Americans constructed using federal subsidies supporting shopping malls and tract houses. According to Hayden, this has resulted in the U.S. lagging behind many European cities, where advocates of fair-shared cities promote an “urbanism of care” as part of sustainable development.

“With her focus on the politics of place, gender studies, and urban planning, Dolores Hayden is a true pioneer in using the built environment to document the history of gender, class and race,” said Aileen Fuchs, National Building Museum President and Executive Director. “We are excited to recognize her achievements and impact, which align closely with the work and mission of the Museum around equity and promoting social justice in the built environment.”

Housed in the historic Pension Building in Washington, D.C., the National Building Museum, a private, non-profit organization, was established by the Congress in 1980. Ever since it was opened, the museum has strived to shift the public’s understanding of the impact of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, construction, planning, and design through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events.

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