Online Conference, 25-26 March 2021 | SDN Symposium
SDN Symposium
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16:00 - 17:30


Queer, Design, Common Good, University Space, Appropriations, Pedagogy, Interdisciplinary

This session explores issues of equity, justice and inclusion as they pertain to design for the common good.

Panel speakers

Presented papers

  • Designing the Arqive: Queering the Common

    by Zachary Vernon, Cynthia Wang

    Individuality is often portrayed as the antithesis to commonality—uniqueness and difference as antagonists to solidarity and unification—but it is our individual differences, when shared, that create opportunities for mutual benefit and growth. This foundational principle is how we approached the idea of the common good when designing The arqive, a digital, interactive map of user-generated LGBTQ narratives, events, and resources from around the globe. The arqive also intersects with the questions around education and curriculum for designing for the common good through interdisciplinary student collaboration among multiple university departments. These collaborative efforts make The arqive a useful case study on how one may both teach and implement design through a critical, social justice framework. By expanding—and challenging—the canon of history to include queer voices and perspectives, The arqive serves the “common good” of a more equitable, representative, diverse, and inclusive society.

  • Theorizing a Queered Design and the (Im)Possibility of Design for the Common Good

    by Isabel Prochner

    Queer critiques can radically undermine social structures, bringing attention to hidden and not so hidden biases. This makes a queer perspective highly valuable for design, potentially able to inform much-needed design transitions and major projects like design for the common good. However, is it appropriate to employ a queer lens in this way? This paper grapples with these issues, exploring what queering design might mean and how it may inform design for the common good. The study is based on a review and analysis of queer theory literature and writing at the intersections of queer and design. The conclusions stress the radical, chaotic, and deconstructive potential of queerness and queer theory in design, argue that it should be employed authentically, and note that it will not solve design problems. The results also argue for the impossibility and undesirability of design for the common good.

  • Queering FADU: Designing and Redesigning University Spaces from a Gender Perspective

    by Griselda Flesler

    The primary purpose of this paper is to present some initial outcomes of this research into the uses and appropriations of the spaces at the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism of the University of Buenos Aires (FADU-UBA) in light of the feminist and sexual dissidence "agenda". In the first section, I compile the main contributions of authors who discuss the relationship between gender and appropriated spaces. The second section focuses on the affective dimension and place-attachment, and the last section contains some "notes of the pandemics" as a device to reflect on our relationship with university space. I identified a growing demand for the intervention of university spaces by different university actors. However, validated data on the contents of these claims, on the existing possibilities and experiences of design and redesign of university spaces with an emotional and gendered perspective remain to be obtained –in an approach geared to everyday wellbeing.