Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
4.5% of Americans make up an invisible minority - the LGBTQ+ community represents over 9 million Americans. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people have a history of being targets of discrimination, which is indisputable when we see that LGBTQ+ relations are illegal in 74 countries, a criminal offense in 72 countries, and punishable by death in 12 countries. The LGBTQ+ youth population makes up less than 10% of the overall youth population, but 40% of the homeless youth population. When compared to their straight peers - gay and lesbian adolescents are almost 4 times more likely to attempt suicide, and transgender youth about 6 times more likely.
There are certain qualities endemic to the architecture of power. Scale, materiality, visibility, circulation, and flexibility of space can form oppressive spaces, or spaces of agency, depending on how these qualities are designed. These kinds of interpretations can be altered and applied in architectural programs, like affordable housing, spaces for healing and meditation, or civic spaces - to imbue power within the LGBTQ+ community. This architecture of agency will address the community’s specific needs - fostering independence, freedom of choice, confidence, and personal control over social interactions.
I am proposing to create a central hub for the LGBTQ+ community in Midtown, Atlanta, which will provide necessary programming catered towards the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the community of Midtown as a whole. This community hub will be designed as an architecture of agency, aiming to lessen the impact of discrimination, mental health problems, and homelessness for members of the LGBTQ+ community. I will use the research in my thesis investigation to establish a method of design that creates a sense of agency in a variety of ways.