Architectural photography is a powerful medium that captures the essence of areas, structures, and systems. However, it’s important to recognize that the confidence of the photographer performs an essential role in shaping the illustration of gender and sexuality inside these areas. This article delves into the complex relationship between architectural photography and gender, exploring how photographers’ views can influence the portrayal of spaces and eventually impact public perceptions of gendered areas.

Architectural Photography and Gender: Depicting Spaces Through Lenses - Sheet1
Gender representation in designs and architectural photography _©Architectural Review

The Power of Perspective 

Photography is regularly known as an artwork form that freezes moments in time. Architectural photographers wield this strength to form our knowledge of the areas they capture. The desire for angles, lighting fixtures, and composition can all subtly or openly deliver messages approximately gender and sexuality.

For instance, a photographer might use a low-angle shot to emphasize the dominance and grandeur of a building, reinforcing traditional notions of masculine power. Alternatively, a smooth and diffused mild can be used to create an experience of intimacy and sensuality inside a space, influencing how we understand its gendered traits. These selections can be aware or subconscious, however, they undeniably shape the narrative embedded inside architectural photography.

Gendered Spaces: Reinforcing or Challenging Stereotypes 

Architectural photography has the functionality to either enhance or assign societal stereotypes associated with gendered spaces. Traditional gender roles have regularly dictated how spaces are designed and perceived. 

Kitchens and nurseries, for example, have been historically related to femininity, while boardrooms and workshops were linked to masculinity. Photographers can both uphold those stereotypes or subvert them via their photography. A photograph highlighting the capability and performance of a space can project the notion of a space.

Inclusive Representation 

One of the finest contributions of contemporary architectural photography is its capacity to promote inclusivity and range. Photographers who consciously are looking to capture a wide kind of gender identities and expressions inside architectural areas can assign the binary mindset of gender. By showcasing regions wherein people of all genders are welcome and comfortable, architectural photography can make contributions to an additional inclusive and accepting society. This may be especially vital, wherein non-binary and genderqueer humans frequently battle to find safe and welcoming areas. 

The Influence of the Gaze 

The idea of the “gaze”; is essential in the expertise on how architectural photography impacts our perceptions of gendered spaces. The gaze refers to the way a picture is constructed to ask the viewer to seem from a specific mindset. In architectural photography, the photographer’s gaze can both objectify or empower the areas they capture.

For example, a picture that sexualizes or objectifies a place can perpetuate risky stereotypes approximately gender and sexuality. On the other hand, a photograph that gives the ones spaces as websites of empowerment, self-expression, and corporation can assign societal norms and inspire greater open conversations approximately gender and sexuality. 

The Role of Intersectionality 

It’s vital to understand that gender is not the most effective component at play in architectural photos. Intersectionality, which considers how numerous social identities intersect and have an impact on every other, also plays a big role. Factors along with race, ethnicity, beauty, and sexual orientation intersect with gender to create specific critiques and perceptions of regions. Photographers who are aware of intersectionality can provide an extra nuanced and inclusive illustration of areas. 

For example, an architectural photograph that captures a network center may also spotlight the intersection of gender, race, and class, dropping mild at the several reviews of people who share the space. 

Let’s take a look at well-known architectural photographers’ artwork as an example to observe how gender is depicted in architectural fields: 

Case Study: Stahl House #22 (1960): 

Architectural Photography and Gender: Depicting Spaces Through Lenses - Sheet2
View of Stahl House #22 at night by architectural photographer Julius Shulman _©1st Dibs

One of Shulman’s most well-known photos is of the Stahl House, designed using architect Pierre Koenig. The photograph captures the house at night time, with the town lighting fixtures of Los Angeles sprawling in the heritage. In this architectural photograph, the smooth lines, glass partitions, and minimalistic layout of the house are on full show, emphasizing the architectural beauty. The Stahl House photograph may be analyzed in phrases of gender illustration. While it would not overtly deal with gender or sexuality, it displays the technology’s beliefs of domesticity and present-day dwelling. The depiction of the space as smooth and minimal may be seen as difficult conventional gender roles associated with the house. It provides the gap as both aesthetically eye-catching and useful, likely challenging traditional perspectives that restrict roles in the home to domestic chores. 

Case Study: “Dyke Deck,” 1995:

Dyke Deck (Deck of Playing Cards by architectural photographer Catherine Opie) _©Artsy

One of Opie’s exquisite works is the photograph titled “Dyke Deck”; This image is part of a series that depicts lesbian and queer groups in Los Angeles throughout the Nineteen Nineties. “Dyke Deck”; functions as a rooftop amassing region wherein gender-several people congregate. The photograph demands situations of traditional notions of gendered areas, as it portrays an area that is inclusive and inviting to people across the gender spectrum. Opie’s paintings demonstrate how architectural photography can actively interact with questions of gender and sexuality. Her lens captures areas that task societal norms and provide visibility to marginalized communities, in the end reshaping our records of what constitutes gendered regions. 


Architectural photography is a powerful medium that has the ability to form public perceptions of gendered regions. The mindset of the photographer, their options in composition, lights, and angles, and their consciousness of gender and intersectionality all play a great feature in this technique. By hard stereotypes, promoting inclusivity, and considering the intersectionality of identities, architectural photography can make contributions to a greater diverse and accepting society that embraces the rich tapestry of gender and sexuality within our built environments. Through their case studies, Julius Shulman and Catherine Opie display how architectural photographers may additionally create gendered areas. Opie questions social conventions exposes underrepresented businesses, and highlights the one-of-a-kind methods that pics impact how people see gender in Shulman’s paintings. Both Opie and Shulman show off modern-day residing beliefs.


Gender space architecture : An interdisciplinary introduction : Free download, Borrow, and streaming (1970) Internet Archive. Available at:

Toje, M. (2016) Gender perception on built environment, Available at: 

(No date) Intersection of photography and architecture—introduction. Available at: