Gender Spaces-Gay Spaces

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    Dec 23, 2011 9:51 AM GMT
    I am required in five months to start a thesis project to complete my studies in university. I have been wondering about the legitimacy of gender in spaces and impacting on projects. Whether the difference between a male space and female space is more a cultural difference than a real physical difference or what.

    But most of this is about straight people, so screw that. I was wondering if the legitimacy of these differences could be explored in what a gay space might be. Whether they exist, how they occur, and how they would be/are different than straight spaces. If knowledge about them might reveal whether differences between straight and gay people are social constructs or legitimate. This might then lead to answering, in part, the difference between men and women. If sex and sexuality are of any importance in who we are, than those things are definitely worth being understood in a design setting to create successful spaces.

    This is not solely an exploration of 'minorities' getting space to empower them, but research into if there is a need for homosexual spaces versus straight space.

    Quickly Googling I get this:
    1. The William Morris Pink House.
    2. Senior Consenting Room, Fingersmiths College.
    3. The Dancing Bear prosthetic nightclub, Soho.
    4. Lawrence of Arabia suite with walk-in closet, Burj Dubai.
    5. Sub-prime non-dom housing, Queens, NYC.
    6. Rufus Wainwright's dressing room.
    7. Dorothy Cottage, Wordsworth, Cumbria.
    8. Anything indoors in Brighton.
    9. Pre-booked pod on The London Queer Eye.
    10. Your scrupulously tidy study.
    from http://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/critics/top-10gay-spaces/865261.article

    Also some sites listing 'safe' spaces. A place with a sticker saying it is safe for gays, but not actually designed as anything different.

    This book: http://www.amazon.com/Queer-Space-Architecture-Same-Sex-Desire/dp/0688143016

    Pro Gay Article: http://www.thescavenger.net/glb/why-we-need-gay-only-spaces-634.html

    This gay Sydney article: [url]http://www.participations.org/Volume%207/Issue%202/PDF/mckinnon.pdf[/url]

    I familiarity with some articles on male-gendered and female gendered spaces, but was looking for input from, well, a gay website. I would probably find two or more spaces that are 'gay/lesbian' and try to understand their success or failures in serving gay populations. Probably model it after one of the studies that looks into female orientated spaces and male orientated spaces. Then try and redesign those sites to be pro-gay/lesbian or at least not anti-gay/lesbian.

    Can anyone enlighten me on this topic or give me some thoughts on the matter?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2011 1:41 PM GMT
    What do you mean by space?
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    Dec 23, 2011 2:03 PM GMT
    GreenHopper saidWhat do you mean by space?
    http://www.clubspace.com/

    local-miami-club-space.jpg

    club-space-miami-mixed-magazine-06.jpg

    Space_1.jpg
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    Dec 23, 2011 2:18 PM GMT
    Haha ^ you guys are so funny.. this is why I love you guys =)
  • kew1

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    Dec 23, 2011 3:36 PM GMT
    WTF is the London Queer Eye?

    William Morris' lived in Red House, not pink
    http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-redhouse,
    & most of the men I know who wear pink are str8.
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    Dec 23, 2011 4:59 PM GMT
    I'm studying architecture too. I understand what you are trying to do, I will also have to do my thesis project too next fall :s

    sometimes when I'm stuck, I'll use the old addage "Form follows function" to give myself a workable space that I can further develop.

    One problem that I see you running into is that essentially, gay men differ from straight men only in their sexual partner choices. To infer blanket behavious onto the homosexual community, and designing spaces to facilitate those might exclude a lot of gay men who don't relate. Of course, you can never please everyone.

    As a gay man, I find that every space that I experience either benefits or detracts from my experience based on my needs, the shape and size of my body, my past experiences and a host of other criteria, never have I needed a particular space because I'm gay. To borrow the quote, "I don't go gay-park my car!"

    Your reference look interesting and I'll look through them later today. This is really interesting! If you like, send me a message later. I'd love to discuss this some more.

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    Dec 23, 2011 5:38 PM GMT
    [quote]One problem that I see you running into is that essentially, gay men differ from straight men only in their sexual partner choices. To infer blanket behavious onto the homosexual community, and designing spaces to facilitate those might exclude a lot of gay men who don't relate. Of course, you can never please everyone.[/quote]

    Interesting ideas. I'm not an architect, but I agree with Vango's above comment. I mean, what could possibly differ between a gay and straight guy's space? Would gays want more room for shoes and flower arrangements, and straights plenty of big-screen TVs for watching sports? lol

    Beyond sexual object choice, I think any attempt to generalize a distinction between gays & straights--or between men and women--is tricky. If I were an architect, I'd more attuned to the specific desires of individual clients, rather than generalized groups.

    Good luck with your project!
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    Dec 23, 2011 7:53 PM GMT
    Rough definitions to follow

    I suppose I wasn't clear with what space was. Its one of those words I use a lot and the people around me know what it means.

    I am a Landscape Architect. The sidewalk you walk on is a place (sort of space with emotion) and has a genius loci (feeling of the place).

    Have a link!
    http://www.iwanttobealandscapearchitect.com/whatis/place/index.html

    It has specific emotions that our when there. Places that don't have this sense of place are at times boring, confusing, and a suburb without one is easy to get lost in and forget. There's also the idea of places that are comfortable to people native to it (proxemic) and places that are comfortable to for people to be strangers in (distemic)

    I'm not saying there is a legitimate difference between gay guys and straight guys beyond culture and the sex of our interest. I'm not saying there is a legitimate difference between men and women. I'm going for if there is a difference between how straight men and gay men enjoy a space or feel the genius loci then it is important to know. I understand that there might be absolutely no difference between the two and I would prefer that. I really don't want there to be any sort of ammunition saying gay men are different, inferior (we're not) or whatever.

    But there could be and I need a 5th year thesis project. You can't say there is no such difference other than cultural (or none at all) unless someones goes and looks.

    If anything creating a "gay" space might simply be creating a normal space for a single sex. The only thing on the top of my head that would be an important difference is that the elimination of one sex can theoretically change that landscape is designed. Now that landscape, for gay people, would have to allow areas for people to comfortably flirt and pursue (distemic areas) and areas within that place that themselves are proxemic without having to accommodate the opposite sex.

    I am five months away and might not even pursue this idea because it could be really boring and inconsequential and.. blah.... Now I'm just posting my idea really broad because I'm 5 months away from starting a one year long project that I'm going to be zooming in on the whole time. I don't even know where I would pick a site that I would study.

    This thought just popped into my head, I talked about it with a classmate, and decided that it might be worth looking into. I do not want to do this project if I could not do it well because the idea does not have enough merit.
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    Dec 24, 2011 5:52 AM GMT
    JustThisOnce saidI think he means a different place for gay people. Like Male washroom female washroom gay men washroom lesbian washroon trans washroom


    That is something else entirely and is not within the scale of the thesis. Honestly, it would be fine if there was just one bathroom if everyone was mature. No, the idea of the post is "Is there a difference between gays and straights and does that difference warrant different landscapes to accommodate them." Theoretically if there is a difference it is likely only straights would be accommodated.