Monica Pidgeon 1913 -2009

Monica Pidgeon 1913 -2009

World Architecture Festival
APA Photography

Monica Pidgeon 1913 -2009: Editor, catalyst and photographer.

Monica Pidgeon 1913 - 2009, was a redoubtable figure, a woman in a predominantly mans world, writes Lynne Bryant.

She studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London and went on to be a revered editor of Architectural Design magazine. A position she shared with another woman, Barbara Randall, between 1946 and 1975. This was a highly unusual arrangement at the time.

When Monica Pidgeon was organiser of the International Union of Architects' (UIA) conference in London she met Richard Buckminster Fuller where they discussed his ideas for The World Design Science Decade. This was a series of documents that suggest, in great detail, ways in which world architectural schools, and specifically their students, should initiate, and take ownership of the documents’ contents. The total series includes many of Fuller’s most prescient ideas and emphasised the catastrophic depletion of world resources and their responsibility to address it.

Monica Pidgeon in Architectural Design magazine embraced his theme and published Fuller's series of papers in the July 1961 issue, thus becoming one of the first magazines to draw attention to population numbers and sustainable design.

Less known about Monica Pidgeon is she was a talented and prodigious photographer using her camera extensively from the 1960's, capturing both people and architecture. Her photo journalistic approach produced memorable images that convey a sense of time and place.

Monica Pidgeon's archive is one of the little-known gems of the RIBA Photographic Collection.

To see more of Monica Pidgeon's work, you can book an appointment via

RIBA 66 Portland Place London W1B 1AD

Paris France ©Monica Pidgeon / RIBA Collections

Central Shopping Precinct Coventry UK ©Monica Pidgeon / RIBA Collections

National Congress buildings, Eixo Monumental, Brasilia, photographed in 1962. ©Monica Pidgeon / RIBA Collections

Thank you WAF for your support.

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Looking at a still photograph is proactive. You decide to look and for how long, to linger and explore the image or walk away. All too often even still images are flashed in front of us momentarily reducing our involvement to a passive onlooker. We are in danger of accepting bad and mediocre imagery as normal, we are looking but not seeing. Photographs of architecture capture more than a building, they create a legacy in time and place.

Lynne Bryant
Founder: The Architectural Photography Awards /

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