A Commonplace for the Post-Gender Society

Suzanne Tick, the author of “His and Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society,” proposes that “Identity is no longer clearly defined as female or male, but by increasingly visible manifestations of sexuality or lack thereof.” Therefore, society, designers and all, must work to become more flexible with terms of gender identity and expression because gender is becoming less defined. As this is happening, there needs to be a growing commonplace, a place of respect and acceptance, for the genderless in society from fashion to bathrooms to the workplace. Tick reiterates this need by explaining that, “Making people feel accommodated—whether it’s in a public space or office—parallels the bigger conversation about universal design.” Thus, this universal design becomes a commonplace for greater discourse and “inclusivity” for all genders or lack thereof as time progresses.

Works Cited

Tick, Suzanne. “His and Hers? Designing for a Post-Gender Society.” Metropolis. 20 March 2015, https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.metropolismag.com/ideas/his-hers-designing-for-a-post-gender-society/.

Link to image:

“Visualizing Gender Identity: Binaries, Spectrum and More.” Pinterest, user: castielshappyplace, https://www.pinterest.com/pin/531354456014254688/

The Collapse of Housing Redevelopment

David Fleming discusses the end of the redevelopment era due to a shift in politics during the end of the 1990s and the continuation of polarization in society based on identity. But Fleming reiterates:

“As I have tried to suggest here, considering more carefully our metropolitan lives together and thinking more creatively about our civic responsibilities to one another is not about is not about simply shifting our shifting our political allegiance from one public to another, from the globe or nation-state to the city or urban district; it is rather about developing and protecting the full and multilayered set of publics in which we are always already embedded” (212).

     Fleming’s intentions are to explain that personal politics should not take away from interpersonal relationships or from divisions between certain areas within a city, state, or town, because their are responsibilities to each citizen as a human. Therefore, maintaining the common set of discourses and ability to understand the layers of identities of which people are, and to create commonplaces from what people have already have based on identity, equates to bridging the gap between all people.

With the continuing inability to diversify neighborhoods or improve upon the urban developments, the diversity continues to struggle and commonplaces do not exist. This results in lack of representation and lack of power and lack of voice for many minorities.

Within Chicago, many of the housing programs have ended, as the results have not been garnered. Fleming called it “free movement” of societies as the resulting communities but also elaborated on how the neighborhoods ended up polarized (214). He proposed that the initial unnatural environments cause these issues of polarization rather than a commonplace. But, even after all the trouble of creating a built commonplace, he remains hopeful of a future where people will continue to resist the shift by which political motives attempt to remove them from specific locations and continue to learn about the issues affecting their community.

In the end, Chicago has created an all new housing plan to replace the old.

The Systematic Oppression of Architecture and Design

The systematic oppression of architecture and design of cities increases racial prejudices by keeping people separated by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Sarah Schindler, author of Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation through Physical Design of the Built Environment, reintroduces the idea of the systematic oppression, stating, that “throughout history, people have used varied methods to exclude undesirable individuals from places where they are not wanted” (1942). The architecture was used as a new method, rather than laws or other restrictions, to manage the cities and determine the desired population.

One of the few ways that Schindler examines this motion is how the cities are designed to keep certain people from being able afford to purchase certain homes or property there. The cities are also constructed in a way that specifically changes traffic to reduce the movement of certain people in specific areas of the city. This is a way to keep neighborhoods free of foot traffic by removing sidewalks. Additionally, changing bus routes or even removing them from certain parts of a city keeps people from being able to use the bus system or from being able to reach work in those parts (1938). This ultimately removes them from the neighborhood, to one where they can reach work and to where the bus routes will take them. These designs are typically found in suburbs (1937).

The decisions of the architects and city designers contributes to the division of society while building on racial prejudice. The racial bias is deemed by the continuing oppression of folks who are not white and are not of upper/middle class or higher income. It keeps people stuck in a cycle that supports the segregation of society on the basis of racial bias. People’s struggles are found to be their own fault and their problem while in actuality they are put into that position by the architects of the city and by society. When cities are constructed in specific ways they are purposefully maintaining and monitoring the struggles of these people- playing god, if you will. When society is able to reduce this systematic oppression, to look past the stereotypes of race and socioeconomic status, only then will the cities be able to become more integrated and diverse.