Analysis of Schindler’s Architectural Exclusion Theory Pt. 1

In Part I of  “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Designs of the Built Environment,” Sarah Schindler makes two claims. Schindler’s first claim is that, architecture is being used and designed to exclude certain groups of people. The second claim is that  this type of exclusion should be under just as much scrutiny as other forms of exclusion by law. According to Schindler “The Built Environment is defined as man-made physical features that often make it too difficult for certain individuals – the poor and people of color to access certain places” (1934). Schindler points out that historically when people wanted to make decrees that prevent certain groups of people from entering certain spaces this was backed by the law. Additionally, when people from different areas of towns in cities were blocked from getting to the other side of town by  physical barriers, this also was backed by the law. Architectural design that  Schindler determines to be just as exclusionary as discrimination has not gotten any attention from legal scholars.

Schindler provides the simple example of a park design being discriminant against homeless people. If the bench has three arm rests, dividing the bench into three seats, it may not have been put there for comfort and convenience like many assume but to prevent homeless people from being able to lay down and sleep on it. It is noteworthy to acknowledge that the people constructing the built environments and the people responsible for designing this exclusionary architecture, almost always, design it not only in a way the keeps certain people away from a space but also to advance a certain political agenda and focused on flow of traffic. Nicholas Bloomey points out that civil engineers tend focus on how people and cars and other traffic will flow around a city or an environment rather that thinking about how its going to effect the citizens living in this environment; the goal of these politicians and engineers  is efficiency and commuting, thus making money , rather than citizen approval. Some scholars, such as Elise C Boddie and Stephen Clowney, claim that some places have purposeful racial meaning and attached to marginalization by race, which also lawmaker continuously overlook and make no efforts to make amends even when brought to the attention of lawmakers.

Architecture that continues to be exclusive that makes ups a built environment that continues to keep certain people away based upon race, ethnicity, socioeconomic standing, and any other identity is extremely detrimental to citizens of a community it enforces a problematic behavior and mindset of othering and a power structure based upon race which then encourages human behavior that is racists and classist. Additionally, if law makers continue to ignore this then not only does it become acceptable on a citizen to citizen level it becomes the “law of the land” and acceptable at a legal level, leaving these citizens  are being excluded,  unprotected and alienated from society.

Queen Bey

I’ve always  been a little puzzled and confused about the world’s insane obsession with Beyoncé. Not to be misunderstood, Im always proud to see any black woman flourishing and just doing the damn thing, but an obsession? Really? There are people that want to be this woman. She can be 2 hours late to her own concert and people will still wait for her then cry, cheer, and  scream for hours at her show. People will spend 4 months worth of rent to even get a seat close to the stage she’s performing on. Some people treat her like a God and wear t-shirts that say “Beyoncé is my Religion”. So of course you can imagine that when she posted this picture on her Instagram account February 1st nearly broke the internet. This picture was posted, announcing that she is pregnant with twins, being a twin myself I think this is pretty cool. The photo got over 10 million likes on Instagram already, which to be honest, is a tiny fraction of her 94.1 million followers in total! The photo is soft  and aesthetically  pleasing. In typical maternity shoots, the partner is also featured in the photo but this is just the “Queen Bey” herself; Its a classic floral background with a contemporary “hippie” like vibe with the mix match bright colors. The vail adds a tone of regality over the entire photo, playing to her nickname “Queen Bey”. Of course a pregnancy is  a big deal and reason for celebration but I’m convinced that this Beyoncé could do just about anything, take a photo and the world would go bonkers. Her star power is out of this world, but like the 94 million other people, I want to wish her a congratulations on her expected blessings!

Sweet Sexy Savage

 

On January 27th 2017 Kehlani dropped her debut album, Sweet Sexy Savage. This album is phenomenal. In this album is every woman and the cover art illustrates this perfectly, Kehlani is a 21 year old, queer, woman of color and above it the words “Sweet Sexy Savage” appear. Her body covered in tattoos give her an edge that people are often curious about and dont know how to really describe, her openness about being a queer woman that is black, white, spanish and Native American leaves her to be racially and sexually androgynous. I think in every woman there are theses three parts, the sweet, the sexy, and the savage and through the 18 tracks and ambiguous appearance leads people like the media to make assumptions about her personality; in songs like “Thank You” and “Keep On” and “Hold Me By the Heart” she completely shatters these assumptions by pouring her heart out over the lyrics in these songs, in this I see the Sweet. Another portion of the album has songs that highlight her sexual prowess and attraction, the is not only carried out with the utmost confidence but also a feeling of empowerment, this is where I see the Sexy. Lastly, Kehlani’s personal battle with depression, suicidal tendencies and dealing with broken-heartedness is something that I as well as many others can relate to and aspects of this album allows me to revisit this pain and feeling of brokenness through lyrics that are strong, healing,  and delivered with conviction. For example in her song “Personal” she says, “I fuck with me heavy, Im all chosed up, so dont take it personal” or when she says, “if I gotta be a bitch imma be a bad one”,  in this part of the album I see the Savage. This album cover alone celebrates the multidimensionality of every woman. To me, what I get from this album is the following: We as women are not this, we are not that, we are EVERYTHING.