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The Future of the Women's Institute: Reclaiming the Dockyard

Part 2 Project 2022
Rachel Sarah Butt
University of Portsmouth | UK
Fuelled by the feminist novel ‘City of Ladies’ by Christine de Pizan, the ‘Future of the Women’s Institute’ serves as a rebellion and retaliation against the unrecognised and displaced women within today’s society. Recognising a patriarchal toxicity and catalysing a conversation on the place of gender in our built environments.
The thesis is foraged on the three ladies presented to Christine de Pizan in her book - Lady Reason, Lady Rectitude and Lady Justice. All three ladies play a pivoting role in the development and construction of the institute, as well as a devotion to each other to serve the women within the institute as they did before in the fictional fortified ‘City of Ladies.’
‘The Future of the Women’s Institute’ looks to create a passage between the historic charitable ethos of the WI, as well as fuelling the next generation of female activists. Designing a place of advocacy, resilience, representation and disruption. Manipulating the Historic Naval Dockyard in Portsmouth, acclaimed for its history of high security, male dominated portrayal, and subsequently diminishing those boundaries as a way of fortifying the Women’s Institute – a balance of conservation, yet disruption.

Rachel Sarah Butt


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