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AR March 2019 on Women in Architecture + Sex

1459 cover ar sex

Elizabeth Diller | Hélène Binet | Lina Ghotmeh Architecture | TEd’A | DnA | Karamuk Kuo | OMA | O’Donnell + Tuomey | Flores & Prats | RCR Arquitectes | Ada Louise Huxtable

Click here to get a copy of our Sex + Women in Architecture awards issue

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In last year’s March issue, we started to examine the complex and multiple relations between architecture, sex and gender. The conversation is, however, consistently evolving, and needs to be revisited. From last year’s focus on feminist practice and the work of women long overlooked, this month we seek to go a step further, breaking out of binary gender divisions and broadening the remit of our agenda to question the established framework we continue to evolve in. 

In the keynote, Jack Halberstam considers how bodies and the worldly constructs they dwell in are built and unbuilt, undone, and remade, arguing that ‘we must destroy both the woman in the building and the building in the woman. In so doing we can begin to reimagine the (re)constructed body as it intersects the coordinates of gender, the social constructions of identity, and the familiar contours of the built environment’. Adam Nathaniel Furman writes this month’s Outrage, arguing that plurality of identities deserves to be externalised through the aesthetics of architecture, and warning that the city is for those ‘who abjure any and all alternative identities’. Lauren Elkin agrees, painting a portrait of the flâneuse and asking whether she is entirely excluded from a city of ‘coincidence and potential’.

Huw Lemmey traces the history of state control over homosexuality in public and private space, while Esther Fernández Cifuentes addresses how pornography has moved behind closed doors from the spectacle of the cinema. In a poem inscribed ‘after Alison Smithson’, Helen Charman asks ‘what is desire if not municipal shame?’, while Catherine Slessor unveils the lives, loves and transgressions of avant-garde artists and architects inspired by the recent Barbican exhibition Modern Couples; from short-lived passions to lifelong union, in these liaisons boundaries between bodies dissolve.

This year’s Women in Architecture shortlists see emerging architects designing schools in Switzerland, housing in Lebanon and community infrastructure in rural China, as well as four ambitious public buildings in consideration for the Architect of the Year award. We have features on Elizabeth Diller, this year’s recipient of the Jane Drew Prize, and Hélène Binet, who has been awarded the Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, while Huxtable herself is the subject of this month’s Reputations. On 1 March, each of the award winners was presented with a trophy made by Madelon Vriesendorp, the winner of the 2018 Ada Louise Huxtable Prize, whose commission also included the artwork that features on this month’s cover. 

The full table of contents is available here