Our society is in constant evolution, be it in architecture, engineering, or life in general. Now, various new concepts relating to sexuality are emerging in our society. So now that the people have changed the way they represent themselves, there is a need to change the spatial organization of zones as designed for them. The spaces built should be able to ensure the safety of the inhabitants. There is the concept of non-binary architecture, including designing spaces that provide gender neutrality. This concept revolved around providing equal access and opportunities to all the genders in society. 

Thus comes the concept of non-binary architecture as an important aspect of our gender-biased society. So, to embrace every person who defines themselves as in between and to deal with this gradually emerging issue faced by LGBTQ people, people are now looking into creating a non-binary environment in technology, fashion, or architecture. Various designers, like Martin Margiela, have designed gender-fluid garments that disapprove of the traditional representation of femininity or masculinity through fashion. Similarly, architecture is proving successful in creating a non-binary environment by arranging and providing common spaces for all, irrespective of the gender they represent.

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Martin Margiela’s non binary designed clothes_@

Non-Binary Architecture

To better understand the concept of non-binary architecture, we can look at the example of Everybody Gym in Los Angeles. As the name suggests, the gym is for all, irrespective of their shape, size, caste, creed, religion, or sexuality. The gym provides all the machines and other equipment for the workouts and exercise sessions. The instructors represent and encourage everyone. Also, to further make the space more welcoming, the locker rooms in the gym are termed gender-neutral locker rooms, not including any gender slip to define a particular user of the services. The colors, textures, and interior of the gym area include neutral colors and textures, inviting people from every community. 

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Everybody Gym, Los Angeles_@

Thus, when it comes to designing gender neutrality, one has to consider some different approaches to bring out equality in the project. The required aspects are discussed below:

  1. GENDER NEUTRAL COLORS:Colors are quite an expressive design element; thus, they are also used to define a specific gender. For ages, colors have been set definite, like pink for girls and blue for boys. Thus, design should use colors that break these stereotypes to create a gender-neutral design, with minimalistic and neutral colors like yellow, black, white, green, and orange. 
  2. TYPOGRAPHY: Like colors, typography in any design also depicts gender, like a thinner tone represents feminism, while block typography represents masculinity. Thus, in the case of going for a nonbinary or gender-neutral design, one needs to take care of the font usage. The font should not represent a particular gender but should be acceptable to all genders.
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Gender Neutral Fonts_@
  1. GENDER NEUTRAL IMAGES: While using images in any design, one should also include non-binary pictures, associating all the communities. For example, using an image of a group of people, irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, or sexuality should be included. The image should thoughtfully represent every community in harmony. 
  2. USING ICONS IN DESIGN: Icons connect both colors as well as typography. They form the clickbait of any organization or society and can either attract the target audience or disengage them. Thus, icons need to be designed quite carefully and thoughtfully. 
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Gender Neutral Icons and Image_@
  1. USING GENDER NEUTRAL WORDS: Words act as a tool to convey several meanings in a given sentence or phrase and should be used carefully. Words are powerful when talking about sensitive topics like sexuality or religion. Thus, using words carefully in a sentence or a design is quite necessary.

Gender Inclusive Design Solution

As a designer, one must plan out spaces sensitively, considering gender and how it impacts the environment around us. Through a study, it has been revealed that many built spaces do not promote gender neutrality in society. Thus, there is a need to implement some changes concerning architectural design to alter the gender perception of the public space. Some of the design considerations are:

  1. PUBLIC SPACES:Public spaces are the most exposed and community dominated zones, where socializing for everyone often become uncomfortable. It is seen in research that 68.7% of people feel dominated in a public area. Thus, there is a need to change this perception by implementing certain design considerations like lighting, natural surveillance, and the presence of living materials that align with the other services.
  2. ACCESSIBILITY: Signage and universal accessibility promote a neutral public space with clear entrances and exits. Further, there are meeting zones, and provision of services that guarantee comfort for the users. Also, by studying the current vehicular and pedestrian movements, one can work towards providing further functional and effective circulation. 
  3. MIXED USE: Mixed-use spaces offer opportunities for multiple activities to be combined in a single place. These spaces include zones designed with cultural and leisure facilities. This also supports an inclusive working environment, which further promotes the coexistence of people. 
Outdoor Activities Area in Everybody Gym, Los Angeles_@


  1. ENVIRONMENT:The environment plays a vital role in ensuring the overall growth of the community despite any indifferences. While relating to vegetarianism and landscaping, one should keep in mind to design spaces so that they are free of any problems like – degraded air quality, increased noise pollution, water or soil contamination, and so on. Thus a well-planned landscape always creates a safe and secure environment for everyone, regardless of their caste, creed, religion, or sexuality. 
  2. CIRCULATION: Circulation plays quite an important role in connecting people and understanding mobility in the city space. These spaces should ensure the issues of safety, accessibility, visibility, and maintaining an image of the city. 

All the elements in an urban design won’t mean anything if the public has not been made aware of these new additions to the built environment. This will simultaneously lead to an awareness of the neutral design, leading to different incentives being implemented by various organizations. 

  1. What it means to build Without Bias: Questioning the role of Gender in Architecture (7 March, 2020, by Ella Comberg) archdaily, Available at: (Accessed: 11 September, 2023)
  2. The spectrum: Exploring the architectural application of nonbinary fashion (2020 by the author, The University of Auckland) researchspace, Available at: (Accessed: 11 September, 2023) 
  3. Designing for the Future: Evolving concepts of Gender and Non-Binary Architecture (20 December, 2023 by Sahar Nicolette) medium , Available at: (Accessed: 12 September, 2023)
  4. 5 tips for a more Gender – Neutral Design (29 April, 2022) entheos, Available at: (Accessed: 12 September, 2023) 
  5. Gender Neutrality in Public Spaces (2020) ijariit, Available at: (Accessed: 12 Septemebr, 2023)
  6. Exploring Gender-Sensitive design (8 March, 2021 by Timothy Moore and Nicole Kalms) Architectureau, Available at:,differently%20and%20with%20different%20needs. (Accessed: 12 September, 2023)
  7. Urbanism With a gender perspective: 7 guidelines for the design of public spaces in Buenos Aires (29 August, 2022) archdaily, Available at: (Accessed: 12 September, 2023)
  8. The Everybody Gym (27 May, 2017 by Sophia Kercher) losangelestimes, Available at: (Accessed: 13 September , 2023)

Sameeksha, currently pursuing her architecture degree, is also inclined towards writing and pouring out her thoughts. Being an writing enthusiast as well as an architecture student, she constantly tries to grab every opportunity for writing and express her views for the built environment.