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Feminist Spatial Practices: Exploring Public Space and Solidarity Networks

source: Courtesy Women's School of Planning and Architecture records, Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History, SSC-MS-00306, Smith College Special Collections (Northampton, Massachusetts). photographer: unknown.

Feminist Spatial Practices: Exploring Public Space and Solidarity Networks

Cooperation: Silvia Gioberti and Lilith Unverzagt, with Lilian Waldmüller

To paraphrase Sara Ahmed: feminism means making room for others. The seminar "Feminist Spatial Practices: Exploring Public Space and Solidarity Networks" explores the complex relationship between feminism, architecture, public spaces and the importance of solidarity networks within them.

Recognizing architecture as a potential and means to promote (gender) justice and inclusion in our urban environment and gaining a deeper understanding of these important intersections is a prerequisite for co-creating the cities we live in. Therefore, this summer semester we will turn together to feminist theories within architecture and engage with contributions from leading female architects, landscape architects and theorists. We will particularly be critical about perspectives on traditional architectural practices, discussing them and gaining insights into the ways in which architecture shapes and reflects social norms through urban narratives and the study of projects in public space. In doing so, we will strive to make visible the importance of gender dynamics for the accessibility of public spaces and explore how (feminist) networks can promote social justice.

Through encounters with practicing female architects, landscape architects, and urban planners, we explore the intersections of education as "the practice of freedom" (Bell Hooks) and a spatial practice of planning and realizing feminist cities. These encounters will address four different themes: 1) A feminist view on urban ecologies and landscape 2) Radical pedagogies 3) Taking care 4) Who is missing? Our discussions will take place in various forms. To move beyond frontal lectures, we will experiment with formats such as discursive breakfasts, conversations, walks, and group discussions to create an inviting space that fosters open exchange and sharing of knowledge, ultimately helping us to build networks.

The seminar is funded by resources from the 2024 incentive system. It is a collaboration between the fields of building planning and design, architectural history + architectural theory, supported by Lilian Waldmueller as a tutor.

Dates: KICK OFF: FEMINIST SPATIAL PRACTICE. Date/Time 25.04. 16-18 hrs

THE VISIT: MISSING PERSPECTIVES – Short Film Evening at DAZ - German Architecture Center with Caitlin Mulligan, Canan Öztekin, Jeanne Astrup-Chauvaux, Olga Herrenbrück, Alesa Mustar, Paula Granda Ojeda, Polly Bruchlos. Date/Time: 16.05. 18-20 hrs

THE TALK: SPATIAL COMMONS with Aslı Varol and Roberta Burghardt (coopdisco). Date/Time: 30.05. 10-14 hrs

THE BRUNCH: TAKING CARE with Date/Time: 20.06. 10-14 hrs

THE BIG WALK: A FEMINIST VIEW ON URBAN ECOLOGY AND LANDSCAPE with Violeta Burckhardt and Fanny Brandauer. Date/Time: 27.06. 10-14 hrs

The number of participants is limited to 16 students. Registration with a short letter of motivation by email to l.waldmueller [at] until  22.04.24