Lectures@SAUL 2016

1 November 2016 5:00 pm at SAUL Studio

Speaker: Tanja Poppelreuter

Florence Hobson (1881–1978) is regarded as Ireland’s first professional female architect. Artistic and imaginative, she left for London where her ambition to become an architect was met with condescension: “If you were a little less good looking, you’d have a better chance.” She succeeded, nevertheless. Although from a family of stout nationalists, Florence did not aspire to political martyrdom or traditional motherhood and pursued a professional career instead. She lived and worked in Belfast. “Homes designed for women by women” became her motto as she focused on providing middle-class housewives with comfortable, aesthetically pleasing homes where they could raise their families.

Until now largely ignored by the Republican side, possibly for her English association and apparent lack in sympathy for the nationalist cause, the life and career of Florence Hobson are being re-examined –Tanja Poppelreuter tells her story.

Tanja Poppelreuter is Lecturer in the History and Theory of Architecture in the Belfast School of Architecture at Ulster University and previously at Auckland University, New Zealand. She holds a PhD in Art History and has extensively researched the prevalent ideologies of the early twentieth century that sought to reform mankind through architecture.