The wikiD project
WikiD: women, Wikipedia, design is an international education and advocacy programme to increase the representation of women in the built environment on Wikipedia. Wiki-D was initiated by Lori Brown of Architexx and is a collaboration with Parlour (Australia) and n-ails (Berlin), with seed funding from the Wikimedia Foundation. It works by providing easy-to-use tools and supporting workshops for creating Wikipedia entries, turning editing into a collective endeavour rather than a solitary pursuit.
Women remain seriously under-represented on Wikipedia, both as subjects and contributors. The wikiD project aims to shift this imbalance. It builds on the collective power of women and men worldwide to create many more articles about outstanding women in – still male-dominated – built environment areas. This is partly about more women contributing to Wikipedia, as a shared and creative activity. But the wikiD project also does something crucially important. It challenges Wikipedia’s assumptions of what counts as ‘notability’ that often unfairly exclude women. WikiD does this through a regular programme of writing workshops worldwide, together with providing downloadable architecture-specific guides to enable people to write and edit successfully in an often intimidating online environment.
This project is led by Parlour, a Melbourne-based platform that offers “space to speak – bringing together research, informed opinion and resources; generating debate and discussion” to expand the spaces for women in Australian architecture and beyond. By ranging across a wide and creative variety of strategies and tactics, Parlour offers an important and innovative model of practice for exploring gender, equity and architecture. Their work is both explicitly feminist and generously inclusive in its engagements across many different constituencies and concerns. The wikiD project exemplifies this approach. It combines a clear and accurate analysis of why women go on being excluded from Wikipedia with a practical, achievable and enjoyable process for enabling positive change, that recognises the collective strength of women working together.
Jos 19 July 2020