Christine Murray is editor-in-chief of The Architectural Review and the Architects’ Journal and founder of the Women in Architecture Awards.
A writer and editor in architectural publishing for the past decade, Murray was appointed editor of the Architects’ Journal in 2010, where she was credited for returning the title to subscription growth for this first time in more than a decade. She started at the AJ under Kieran Long in 2007, where she was tasked with launching a new review section, The Critics, which saw many established figures, from Joseph Rykwert to William JR Curtis, return to the AJ.
Promoted to deputy editor, then named editor, Murray’s editorship of the AJ and the AR is associated with experimentation in publishing, pushing the limits of what can be accomplished at scale, from printing multiple covers to die-cuts and special inserts. The AJ also became a campaigning voice within the industry, from More Homes, Better Homes – a campaign to enshrine good design in the race to build homes, to powerful criticism of institutions, including the RIBA, and lobbying on behalf of the profession. Most recently at the AR, Murray launched the #Notopia campaign against generic architecture in cities and calling for design and planning that preserves a rich socio-economic mix and the cultural vibrancy of global cities.
The most high profile of these campaigns is likely that which seeks equity for Women in Architecture. It was in 2012 that Murray founded the Women in Architecture Awards, after an online survey revealed not only a glass ceiling in pay for women architects, but also that the dearth of role models in academia and the profession was disenfranchising young women. The awards, now a fixture on the annual calendar and taking place around International Woman’s Day, revived the Jane Drew Prize as a lifetime achievement award in addition to three new honours for women working in architecture at various levels of their career. Since its founding, the prize has presented the Jane Drew Prize to luminaries such as Zaha Hadid, the Grafton Architects founders and Odile Decq, and raised the profile of young talents such as Olga Felip, Hannah Lawson and Julia King. Judges of the prize have included Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Eva Jiricna and Rafael Vinoly. The promotion of women architects through the award pushes for equity by raising the visibility and prominence, and thus the value, of female architects, at the same time creating new role models for students and young women in practice.
Christine left the AJ to take up the editorship of The Architectural Review in 2015, and was named editor-in-chief of both the AJ and the AR, in 2016. During her editorship, the AJ won several awards, including the IBP Magazine of the Year award, presented to the AJ for the first time in the award’s 30-year history, which it has won twice since. Murray has been shortlisted as BSME Editor of the Year four times, and PPA Editor of the Year twice. The AJ was shortlisted for Stonewall Awards’ Publication of the Year in 2013 for its exclusive coverage exposing discrimination against gay architects, and Women in Architecture was shortlisted for BSME Campaign of the Year in 2012.