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How do you understand the relationship between the space of the bathroom, gender, and sexuality? Bathrooms are over-determined sites where a series of cultural, psychological, and technological forces converge.
Not only does the sex-segregated bathroom “naturalize” the male/female binary, but it also taps into deep-rooted and longstanding societal anxieties about sexuality including misogyny and homophobia.
We seem to be talking a little bit more about what it means to be a woman in architecture, but we rarely talk about what it means to be queer in architecture.
You pose a provocative question that is rarely discussed.
And in the past ten years, the status of landscape has dramatically risen as students and professionals have become invested in environmental issues.
For example, why don’t firms led by LGBTQ designers qualify as minority-owned businesses on RFPs?More recently, (2011), co-edited with the late Diana Balmori, includes an essay that explores a similar theme: the impact of gender on the arbitrary segregation of two allied disciplines: architecture and landscape. The increasing visibility and social acceptance given to the LGBTQ community has had a positive impact on the design professions.In 2006, I addressed this issue in “Curtain Wars Revisited” where I argued that more flexible notions of gender had set the stage for the emergence of high-profile designers like Philippe Starck, Zaha Hadid, and OMA, whose work unabashedly blurred hard and fast distinctions between architecture, interiors, and fashion.Today, I have been absorbing the lessons of two related fields, transgender and disability studies, and have adopted a trans-inclusive perspective that takes into consideration the needs of a wide spectrum of “non-compliant bodies,” of different ages, genders, races, and disabilities.How would you say that gender and sexuality intersect in the context of professional practice?