Call to contribute to an exhibition on public restrooms, design and gender
by Bad Little Brother
Gender is done in the bathroom.
Public restrooms are sites of personal and political transformation. Restrooms are architectural spaces complicit in the formation of a political subject.
Bad Little Brother Collective calls for entries to the upcoming exhibition Unrestrooms. We seek proposals and research by design students and emerging designers that address the agency of architecture in the creation of queer, gender non-conforming, trans, nonbinary, and gendered subjectivities. We believe that equitable access to restrooms ensures visibility and full participation in democratic society, and insist that public restrooms remain in the public realm. We revel in the contradictions of the public restroom, the site where gender is done daily (and done in semi-privacy, in public). We call for projects that creatively, exuberantly, subversively transform the bathroom as a site of gender normativity into a site of multiplying gender variances: design proposals that address the poetics of toilets as much as their politics.
Gender is undone in the bathroom.
We reject a masculinist aspiration to body-transcendence that invalidates the bodily needs of queers, femmes, and people with disabilities in public space, and instead call for public restrooms to make space for bodily rest. We celebrate public restrooms as sites of realized and potential unrest: public sites with the resources for individual and collective resistance, expression, and coalition-building. We believe restrooms can catalyze equitable design, queerly modelling new types of flexible, kind, liminal spaces that emphasize the continuity of human bodies with the more-than-human world, and the necessity of caring for individual bodies in the public realm.