Designing for a Post-Gender Society

In her His & Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society, author Suzanne Tick introduces the topic of “gender revolution” and the shifts within gender normalities. Ultimately, Tick argues that now within our society the normalities of each gender has shifted and people need to adjust to the new societal changes. To further her point of gender normality changing within society, Tick uses examples such as bathrooms.

Featured within the article depicting femininty

Tick discusses how gender neutral bathrooms are accommodating for those who do not associate with a specific gender. The bathrooms promote inclusivity and are accommodating for people, which is important for her argument, especially since she mentions the importance of public spaces. As well, she mentions the fashion industry and the adjustments made such as providing more gender neutral options to accommodate for people. Also, Tick mentions the working environment being more lenient pertaining to women in the the field.


Overall, Tick appreciates the initiatives being made for bringing more inclusivity. However, she believes “designers” (x) need to initiate more efforts. Society needs to conform to a more accepting “public sphere”, especially since various entities have made accommodating changes.

Toward a New Sociospatial Dialectic

In his book “City of Rhetoric”, David Fleming introduces the idea of how societal structures influence relations within his “Toward a New Sociospatial Dialectic” chapter. Ultimately, Fleming argues that physical structures such as location and built environment relates to public discourse. He uses example such as Chicago to argue this point. Within this chapter, he mentions various communities and socioeconomic status. As well, goes into depth pertaining to suburban and urban life; essentially becoming his focus.

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The city of Chicago

Fleming analyzes certain aspects of these communities such as the well being. He concludes from his observations that people living amongst certain communities and their feelings about their built environment are based on socioeconomic status. To further his argument, Fleming uses examples such as people living in communities with higher economic status tend to have better resources and opportunities compared to those in urban communities (Fleming 182). Socioeconomic status is a reflection of how communities and people living in their built environments. Essentially, reminding those reading this chapter that socioeconomic status and the location of a community is a reflection of resources.


Ultimately, location and distribution of wealth are factors pertaining to the built environments within communities. Fleming coins in these terms such as public discourse and socio spatial dialectic to reiterate his common theme within this chapter. Essentially, Fleming uses this chapter to urge readers to use this as a guide, particularly when focusing on urban and suburban communities. Overall, wealth and locations play factors to how societies and built environments are set up.

Final Chapter

In his final City of Rhetoric chapter, author David Fleming argues that it is extremely difficult to design environments that are conducive to human flourishing. Even though there is difficulty in such task, humans still keep trying. Through his exploration of these environments, Fleming briefly states, “But designing for people is not just about ensuring decent housing for the poor and disadvantaged; it is about designing for human beings in general. After all, we all have bodies; and none of those bodies, I would argue, is well served by the way we currently organize our sociospatial environment” (197). Ultimately, Fleming believes that various members within communities are at an a disadvantage, not everyone is being catered to, and argues that these built environments have created issues of displacement.


Within this chapter, Fleming continuous to investigate this idea of of rhetorical space, or in this case “public spheres”. Even though achieving public spheres is possible, Fleming also acknowledges the difficulties associated with it. Fleming explains that “Designing such spaces means acknowledging, however, that each of us belongs to multiple publics at once; and that “publicity” can never be reduced to a single place, procedure, or criterion. People need access to a whole network of layered and interconnected publics to represent the many groups of which they are members, all (ideally) democratically governed to one degree or another (199). Basically, acknowledging individuality and a creating a more inclusive will further progress within public spheres. Not only is Fleming encouraging inclusivity, but he is requesting people to accept one another’s differences and similarities, which can dismantle this idea of community displacement.   

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Chicago gentrification protest


As well, Fleming mentions there are three setback that are contribute to community displacement and are enacting as barriers for public spheres. The first setback is that “Americans consistently privilege mobility over stability (Fleming 203). He explains that this is catering on an economic standpoint, but less on bridging community gaps. The second barrier mentioned within this chapter is political position and self interest. Fleming explains, “To sustain a more broad-based public sphere, we need to learn to speak a language in which political positions are by definition relational, and the general interest is as compelling a value in our debates and deliberations as self-interest” (203). Working on connecting interests and political stances will help bridge community separatism. Lastly, the third setback deals with language and linguistic comprehension. Basically, addressing communication skills and urges communities to work on uniting. Fleming believes these barriers do create community separatism, but are possible to overcome.    
Throughout this chapter Fleming addresses the possible and current setbacks within community displacement, which is interesting to read in this time period. Gentrification is growing more and more, especially within tight-knit communities. These changes can negatively affect people and cause social rifts. Fleming’s book introduces probable reasons for why communities are disconnected. Working on accepting, appreciating, and respecting individuality can help with bridging community displacement. Building on those can help with providing a more sustainable “public sphere”.        



Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY, 2008. Print.


In his book City of Rhetoric, David Fleming in his Ghetto chapter discusses the rhetorical implications of public discourse and the subjugation within the socio economic status of African American communities. Within this chapter, Fleming describes white systematic oppression and how it has infiltrated African American communities and he uses cities such as Chicago to illustrate that point. Fleming explicitly states early in the chapter that “what makes the Chicago ghetto an especially compelling story is its recurrent juxtaposition of oppression with opportunity, confinement with freedom, disaster with hope” (65). He describes several of the setbacks for African Americans such as displacing people into remote neighborhoods such “ghettos”, providing some of the worst support programs, lack of opportunities such as jobs and better education, etc. Ultimately, Fleming argues that the reasons for displacement within the community is due to white systematic oppression and isolation from society, economic, and politics.

Within this chapter, Fleming illustrates his argument for African American displacement and white systematic oppression through examples such as Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable. Du Sable was one of the first non-native settlers in Chicago who migrated from Haiti. During this 1790s period, “Chicago in the first quarter of the nineteenth century was home to extraordinary sociocultural diversity; it was a place where free blacks, mulattoes, Native Americans, “half-breeds,” and English and French-speaking whites mingled freely and amicably” (Fleming 67). There was this perpetuated idea that African Americans and other minority groups were seen as equals when Du Sable settled. However, This idea of equality immediately dissolves due to the structural power within 1880s to 1910s. Due to the systematic powers and oppression from Whites/Caucasians, educated African Americans fled to the South to escape the rise of Jim Crow Laws, which marginalized minorities specifically African Americans.

Blacks/African Americans were left and to be secluded within their own community. City of Rhetoric describes the hostility Caucasians/Whites had for African American residents and racist groups tried ensuring their dominance by the continuation of secluding African Americans into communities called “ghettos”.  Fleming states, “Meanwhile, hostility against blacks was increasing. In 1908, the residents of Hyde Park organized an “Improvement Club” to keep blacks confined to certain districts, promote the hiring of white janitors for the neighborhood’s buildings, petition the city for racially separate schools, and blacklist real estate firms that allowed blacks to move into white neighborhoods”(Fleming 69). Due to the enforced isolation within the African American communities, Black residents were at a disadvantage from the rest of society. Blacks had to form their own infrastructures and developments with a lack of support and opportunities.

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Urban Chicago neighborhood

However, during the “Great Migration”, a large number of African American citizens migrated from the South to the North in pursuit of better opportunities. Fleming states, “Whites living nearby began to grow nervous. Before the Great Migration, with no real competition between them for jobs or houses, blacks experienced only sporadic violence from whites in Chicago. During the Great Migration, however, overcrowding in the black belt threatened nearby white neighborhoods, especially those of working-class Irish and Poles to the west and middle-class whites to the south and east. In 1917, alarmed at what they saw as an overflowing black belt, white property owner associations on the South Side began to focus on “protecting” their neighborhoods from “racial succession,” the process whereby a residential area moves from dominance by one race to another. And working-class “athletic clubs,” like those in the Irish neighborhoods west of the black belt, began openly assaulting blacks on the street.” (Fleming 70). Through Fleming’s description, these tactics that were targeted towards members of the African American community strengthened racial divides and tension. Fleming’s portrayal of the hectic events that has happened within the city of Chicago is main example of societal structures affecting African American prosperity. The acts of discrimination and isolation were successful through legality and the distribution of opportunities. These tactics such as isolation from society greatly impacted the African American community from gaining education and job opportunities. Fleming uses past examples to bring to attention not much has changed since “ghettos” still exist and not much has changed to support those residing within these isolated communities.

Works Cited

Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. Albany: SUNY Press, 2008.

Systematic Structures influences on Society

Could the systems already in place affect and influence surrounding communities? Is government that influential when pertaining to one’s thoughts? In his City of Rhetoric, author David Fleming argues how systematic structures influence the way society is formed. He discusses how built systems can control society’s viewpoints and believes these influences have more to do with physical structures. While discussing the physical structures and built systems, Fleming explores the way community living environments in particular areas such as towns, villages, and counties. Through his exploration, Fleming notes that these commonplaces and topois shape human experience and identity. Fleming uses examples such as political parties to argue that point across.

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located in a Chicago neighborhood

“Both republicanism and liberalism were tied to systems of exclusion, enslavement, and violence and based on models of “publicity” that are no longer acceptable: republicanism, with its subordination of the individual to the community; liberalism, with its dream of an unencumbered self whose rights are set over against the community. In rejecting these, we also reject the old notions of political space and time on which they were based, and we commit ourselves to crafting an alternative political ecology” (30).

Within this, Fleming discusses how both political parties have changed and influenced surrounding communities, which has caused shifts within. These shifts have caused uproars in communities, in which violence and mentalities are altered. This idea is very true and very reflective to what is happening within current society. An example would include the start of the 2017 presidency and the rocky start America is having during the Trump reign.


Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric. Ithaca, US: SUNY Press, 2008. Web. 15 February 2017.

Reading Analysis One: Schindler Part One

In her Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment, author Sarah Schindler explores discrimination amongst people of different ethnic and class groups. Ultimately, Schindler argues that laws and regulations placed within certain communities restrict minorities from moving forward. Not only do laws and regulations enact as barriers, but architectural buildings and structures are key influences to setbacks within these communities. Thus, alluding to the idea of systematic and manipulation oppression.   

Throughout this article, Schindler tries to convince the reader that architecture is a major influence when pertaining to negative societal environments. Schindler argues this with examples such as Robert Moses’ Long Island bridges. Moses is known for building and designing low rise bridges designated for overpasses, which initially make buses and large vehicles challenging to pass. Schindler states, “Moses’s  biographer  suggests  that  his  decision  to  favor  upper-and middle-class white people who owned cars at the expense of the poor and African-Americans was due to his “social-class bias and racial prejudice” (1953). The low rise bridges were originally designated to create racial and lower income minorities limited access.

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One of Robert Moses’ Long Island Bridges

Moses’ bridge is a clear example of how not only systematic oppression and manipulation is within laws and regulations, but buildings and architecture can also create negative societal influences and oppression. Minorities are clearly the target within societal physical structures such as basic bridge structures, which are creating limited access among communities. Architectural influence is far more influential than one might think. Schindler’s argument is important, because societal environment and architectural influence is physically more present amongst communities compared to systematic laws in placed. Moss was able to manipulate the system and create a divide between races and classes and lawmakers limited efforts dismantling this form of discrimination. Thus, these limited efforts created division and oppression amongst minorities.    


Sarah Schindler. “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment.” The Yale Law Review, 2015, 1937–2023.