GSD Queers in Design presents: The Future of Queer Spaces

The past few years have brought definite successes for the LGBTQ equality movement in the U.S. And yet, with increasing normalization of certain aspects of queer culture, there has been a parallel disappearance of the spaces that have in prior years offered a cultural refuge for members of non-mainstream sexual identity groups. We’ve seen a near disappearance of lesbian bars from major cities, even cities like Boston that are seen as vanguards of the progressive movement. In many “gayborhoods,” gentrification has replaced long-cherished community gathering spots and driven artists and other creative professionals from their livelihoods.

And yet, the design professions have been mostly silent in response to some of these trends. This is especially odd given the seeming value that design professionals place on diversity, openness, and spaces that allow for creative expression. Is there still a need for authentically “queer” spaces in a period of increasing acceptance in many cities?

Queers in Design of the Harvard Graduate School of Design is inviting several practitioners and theorists from different realms of the design world to discuss the future of “queer space” as well as the role architects, urban planners, and others can play in this future.

Speakers will include:

Andrew Holder, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Harvard GSD: Andrew Holder is an educator, occasional author, and co-principal of the The LADG. His research interests include the construction of architecture as an inanimate subject as well as novel methods of engaging historical precedent and the production of complex form in a post-digital discipline.

Michael Bronski, Professor of Practice in Media Activism, Harvard FAS (Women’s and Gender Studies): Michael Bronski is Professor of Practice in Media and Activism in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. He has been involved with LGBT politics since 1969 as an activist, organizer, writer, publisher, editor, and independent scholar. Bronski’s last book, Considering Hate: Violence, Goodness, and Justice in American Culture and Politics (co-authored with Kay Whitlock) was published in 2015.

Winter Mendelson, Founder and Editor of Posture magazine: Winter is a genderqueer humyn (who uses they/them pronouns) intent on changing the world for the better. Founded in 2013, Posture is one of the only arts & fashion magazines in the world that is specifically and inclusively focused on identity.

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].