How can we have fun in a crisis? A manifesto (ongoing). Architectural spaces are complicit in the formation of a political subject. Bathhouses, bathrooms, night clubs, stage sets, cruising grounds: we are interested in sites of pleasure. ︎ In a culture that says womxn’s and queer bodies are not worth caring for, womxn and queers taking pleasure in each others’ bodies is a radical act of coalition building. We seek out spaces that care for bodies and feelings. We believe that space-making can be a radical practice of political liberation.

We are sick of fem-phobic architectural pedagogies that dismiss questions of intimacy, agency, subjectivity, and identity as lacking rigor. We are sick of excessively-universalizing masculinist architectural theories that leverage the supposed objectivity of scientific language to erase the specific material effects of an inequitable society.

We reject embedded ideas of archetype, originality, purity, and “nature” that pervade the discourses of spatial design, and seek instead a lively ethos of empathy, conditionality, tenderness, incompleteness, and humor. ︎ We do not pathologize sadness, nor demand resolution.

We embrace the dizzying queer and pleasant dangers of mirth and mischief, of temporary world-making,1 of alternative hedonisms,2 of differences that can’t be assimilated3 and excesses that can’t be recuperated.4 We want to recover histories of individual and collective resistance, experimentation, expression, and pleasure through space-making. ︎ We want to revel in the pleasurable contradictions of public space under capitalism, and architecture’s unrealized potential to imagine something else.

(1) Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner, "Sex in Public." Critical Inquiry 24, no. 2 (Winter 1998): 547-566. .
(2) Kate Soper. “Alternative Hedonism: Cultural Theory and the Role of Aesthetic Revisioning.” Cultural Studies 22, Issue 5 (2008): 567-587.
(3) Timothy Morton. “Queer Ecology.” PMLA Vol. 125, No. 2 (March 2010): 273-282.
(4) John Champag. “Gay Pornography and Nonproductive Expenditure.” The Ethics of Marginality: A New Approach to Gay Studies, University of Minnesota Press, 1995, pp. 28–56.

︎BLB