Event Date: 
03.04.21 to 03.05.21

2021 WDA Conference, Minnette De Silva: Constructive Dialogues

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Minnette De Silva: Constructive Dialogues

A conference organized by Womxn in Design and Architecture

Thursday, March 4, 6PM

Friday, March 5, 9AM - 4PM



Minnette De Silva’s unique position in the mid-20th century exemplifies cultural and local specificity in dialogue with a global modern movement. Her architectural practice was expressive of the materials, techniques, and history of her native Sri Lanka as well as her participation in a network of international architects and designers. As a result, De Silva’s legacy traces the complex and multi-directional vectors of modernity. 


The conversation between her built work, dedication to the production of her own archive and commitment to the inclusion of traditional forms of labor, present De Silva as a leader in design. With most of her buildings lost to time and neglect, her architecture survives primarily through images and words. Denying reductive dichotomies of International Style and vernacular, client and architect, object and archive, her work instead reveals nuances in architectural practice that continue to be relevant today.


This year’s Womxn in Design and Architecture conference expands the geographical focus of architectural practice by taking De Silva’s work as a point of departure. In order to root its narrative in a wider context, we pose the question, how might this work move contemporary theory and practice toward productive dialogues?


Thursday: Keynote presentation by Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi

Friday: Presenters include Gillian Darley, Ashley de Vos, Curt Gambetta, Shoshana Goldstein, Tariq Jazeel, Anupama Kundoo, David Robson, D. Raja Segar, Yasmin Shariff, Shivani Shedde, Brinda Somaya


Program Schedule announcement soon.


About WDA

Womxn in Design and Architecture (WDA) is a graduate student group formed in 2014 at Princeton University School of Architecture. The annual conference celebrates the work and legacy of a pivotal female architect or designer with contributions from international historians and scholars, in addition to artists, curators, and practitioners. Read more.


2020-21 Active WDA Members include Kaitlin D. Faherty, Laura Fegely, Larissa Guimarães, Patty Hazle, Elena M’Bouroukounda, Jacqueline Mix, Luis Fernando Muñoz, Sonia Sobrino Ralston, Lisa Ramsburg, Shoshana Torn, Priscilla Zhang


The WDA conference is made possible by the Jean Labatut Memorial Lecture Fund. The School of Architecture, Princeton University, is registered with the AIA Continuing Education System (AIA/CES) and is committed to developing quality learning activities in accordance with the AIA/CES criteria.



*If you are a member of the Princeton University / School of Architecture community, please email soacomm@princeton.edu for an internal registration link.