Architecture is one of the significant professions which is related to human experiences and emotions. Therefore, it should create strong communication within individuals to provide comfort and pleasure. For this reason, the purpose is to enhance universal design principles for defending the motto of ‘design for all.’ 

The user profile should not be only focused on only one group of people, the building should welcome people with wheelchairs, the LGBT community, etc. Nowadays, especially in Pride Month, the LGBT community’s effects on gender-inclusive architecture can be observed vividly with the gender-neutral/queer spaces.

Gender Inclusive Design and LGBT Community

The term ‘inclusive design’ is very well-known nowadays because of the importance of universal design. Inclusive design enables a methodology for human diversity; gender-inclusive design fosters visibility and becomes a voice for the LGBT community. Designers and architects are working to change public perception and promote inclusivity with some projects. 

The gender-inclusive design consists of lots of design fields because all the design tools provide visual communication with people. It is not only in the architecture field; graphic design is also one of the tools to express diverse opinions. For instance, Ogilvy & Mather designed the Pride font to support the Rainbow Flag by Gilbert Baker which has become the symbol for the LGBT community. 

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Pride Month_©dezeen.com 
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Austin Queerbomb Event_©aia.org

Gender-inclusive architecture has become very popular in the world and the number of competition about the topic increases. London Festival of Architecture and Architecture LGBT+ organized a competition for architects to design a float to represent LGBT+ architects in the London Pride parade. 

Hawkins/Brown was the winner of the competition with the ‘A Space for All’ project; consisting of a black, pitched-roof structure, in contrast to brightly painted details and it has a system for animation by architects during the parade. The colorful structure gives the rainbow color to define LGBT+, diversity, and exploring identity. On parade day, the float design transformed into a shop front graphic and entrance through the forum. The competition makes an emphasis on gender-inclusive architecture and its needs for further developments.

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Hawkins Brown’s London Pride Float_©archdaily.com
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Hawkins Brown’s London Pride Float_©hawkinsbrown.com

The Evolution in Design for LGBT Community

LGBT Community supports inclusive design in terms of creating a universal approach in a space. Designing interior spaces is affected by gender-inclusive design with creating a more loving, accepting world. Famous British designer Adam Nathaniel Furman has very unique designs for the LGBT community with colorful interior designs, installations, etc. 

In Nagatacho house, the use of interior architectural color palette is pure, pale colors of LGBT rainbow colors and provides dismiss of gender-bending aesthetics associated with queer spaces. The house’s interior design has soft hues with a curved aesthetics and creates socialization with an open plan layout. It enhances diversity and equity in the use of space. 

Adam Nathaniel Furman also aims for a physical space that brings life to color and sensuality. He also said; “The desire to be proud and the political necessity to express oneself in aesthetics has diminished.” This demonstrates the LGBT community’s need for sincere self-expression as a reflection in gender-inclusive architecture and design.

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Adam Nathaniel Furman Nagatacho house_©archipanic.com
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Adam Nathaniel Furman Nagatacho house_©archipanic.com

LGBT Community and Aesthetical Space

The aesthetical spaces are affected by user profile and installations are a sudden and temporary expression of experiential space. LGBT community’s color palette also creates a unique space for aesthetics as installations. For instance, Adam Nathaniel Furman and Australian practice Sibling Architecture design ‘super camp’ Boudoir Babylon installation for the National Gallery of Victoria’s NGV Triennial. 

The project celebrates queer aesthetics with a painted plywood volume and it creates different spaces for gathering and socializing. The design incorporates stereotypically gendered colors of baby blue and pink but it is recontextualized and takes a different approach as traditional notions of female/male. The colors have a reference but the shapes have no hierarchy and are not separated.

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Adam Nathaniel Furman and Sibling Architecture Installation_©dezeen.com

Queer Space for Accepting Diversity

To accept diversity, the term queer space is used commonly and can be observed in design strategies for creating an inclusive community, especially for the LGBT community. For instance, in Macquaire University, the queer space provides a gender and sexuality center which provides a safe space to foster a sense of community, vital information, facilitate discussion, and personal development for the LGBT community. 

Space also identifies the need for this kind of facility and its structure in architecture. LGBT community and gender-inclusive design correlate with each other mutually and define and solve the problem in need for architecture.

Macquaire University Queer Space_©students.mq.edu.au

In conclusion, the LGBT community has a huge impact on the evolution of gender-inclusive architecture because of its basic characteristics on a space like queer space, rainbow color identity, self-reflection, and creating diversity. These factors are accepted by architecture and design fields and have become the unique representation of the LGBT community’s way of self-expression. 

For this reason, the gender-inclusive architecture and the LGBT community positively affect each other.

References

  1. Hahn, J., 2021. Adam Nathaniel Furman and Sibling Architecture design “super-camp” Boudoir Babylon installation. [online] Dezeen. Available at: <https://www.dezeen.com/2020/12/20/boudoir-babylon-adam-nathaniel-furman-sibling-architecture-ngv-triennial/> [Accessed 27 June 2021].
  2. Pavka, E., 2021. What Do We Mean By Queer Space? – Azure Magazine. [online] Azure Magazine. Available at: <https://www.azuremagazine.com/article/what-do-we-mean-by-queer-space/> [Accessed 27 June 2021].
  3. Vallerand, O., 2021. Queer Looks On Architecture: From Challenging Identity-Based Approaches To Spatial Thinking. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/963534/queer-looks-on-architecture-from-challenging-identity-based-approaches-to-spatial-thinking> [Accessed 27 June 2021].
  4. ArchiPanic. 2021. How architecture and design can empowerthe LGBT+ community?. [online] Available at: <https://www.archipanic.com/lgbt-architecture-design-2020/> [Accessed 27 June 2021].
  5. Comberg, E., 2021. What it Means to Build Without Bias: Questioning the Role of Gender in Architecture. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/900856/what-it-means-to-build-without-bias-questioning-the-role-of-gender-in-architecture?ad_medium=gallery> [Accessed 27 June 2021].
Author

Betül Özlem Yılmaz is a 4th year interior architecture student and passionate researcher for different topics which is related to architecture and design. She is interested in reading, writing and conceptualizing the projects for creating unique perspective. Her aim is to combine different disciplines in her writings.

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