Unrestrooms, an unfinished survey of gender and public space

Exhibition

2018



Gender is done in the restroom. Public restrooms are sites of personal and political transformation. Equitable access to restrooms by people of all genders ensures visibility and full participation in democratic society.

Drawing from contemporary queer and feminist theories of gender, Unrestrooms, an unfinished survey of gender and public space features recent architectural proposals that address the public restroom as a  public space that participates in the “sustained, corporeal project” of gender︎︎ and the constitution of gendered subjectivities. The exhibition features new works by emerging designers addressing the public restroom as a site of realized and potential political resistance by feminist, queer, trans, gender non-conforming, and gendered publics. Featured projects range scales from the single stall to the city, reimagining the disavowed architectural space of the toilet as a site for subversion, gender creativity, pleasure, and political coalition-building. Contributors are students and recent graduates of North American schools of design, including Columbia GSAPP, Harvard GSD, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Virginia, and University of Waterloo.

Unrestrooms ran from March 2nd–31st at Front/Space︎︎, a noncommercial storefront gallery in the Crossroads district of Kansas City, MO. The exhibition featured a site-specific installation by Bad Little Brother, which rendered the standard dimensions of public toilet stalls in outrageous, glittering tinsel. The exhibition included a reading room with resources on gender in architecture, case studies in public restroom design, and local resources and services for LGBTQIA+ and TGNC publics.

On March 31st, 2018, Bad Little Brother and Front/Space partnered with the Kansas City Center for Inclusion︎︎ to present a panel discussion︎︎ on inclusive restroom design. The panel brought together local architects and activists to discuss recent developments in inclusive restroom design, with a particular focus on equitable and just access among trans and gender non-conforming users.

Unrestrooms was organized through an open call to students and recent graduates of spatial design disciplines. Read the call for contributions here︎︎.

Press:

KCUR: At an Exhibit in Kansas City, Designers Begin Solving America’s Bathroom Problem︎︎



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