The introduction of pragmatism in architectural discussions in the early 2000s caused fierce objections by those who thought that abandoning critical theory and adopting pragmatism instead would take architecture adrift. This chapter highlights moments within this debate when pragmatism was presented as a forceful alternative to critical theory in terms of the political engagements it requires from practitioners and thinkers who adopt it. Among those who did that most convincingly were two women architectural historians and theoreticians. Joan Ockman organized a major conference on pragmatism and architecture in New York in 2000. Gwendolyn Wright was part of that event and published in its wake a series of texts connecting the influence of pragmatism with socially oriented architectural practices. Tracing the role of these two protagonists in particular, the chapter also touches upon the fate of feminism within this intellectual history.
in Women in Pragmatism: Past, Present and Future, ed. by Nuria Sara Miras Boronat and Michela Bella (Cham: Springer), pp. 213-223