Asian Feminist Architecture

Intervention and reflection have been made in the primarily male-dominated architectural field with its phallogocentric Western metaphysics foundation, particularly since the 1980s. Yet much effort has been limited to the Euro-American context with middle-class white women as the primary concern. This panel aspires to direct our attention towards the intersectionality between race and gender inequality, specifically towards an under-examined group: Asian women. Yellow women are stereotypically considered more transparent and especially problematically objectified in the “Western” milieu. On the other hand, in Asian countries, women face different challenges that are not covered with the dominant Euro-American feminist theorizations due to their particular socio-cultural constructs, that many times result in deeper patriarchal roots. Moreover, the dichotomy and characteristic attribute to male-female along the lines of active-passive are often mapped on to the West-East in the countries’ decolonization. These conditions aggravate the structural inequality in the architectural discipline that historically emphasizes a heroic masculinity and thus deserve completely different sets of examinations. 

This panel invites papers that engage with the topic of Asian Feminist Architecture from these various perspectives, ranging from the intersectionality between race and gender inequality in the Euro-American context, taking special consideration of Asian women, to robust reconsiderations, examinations and theorizations of feminist architecture from Asian contexts that differ in the concerns, challenges, timelines, and socio-historical constructs from the dominant Euro-American one. With such effort, this panel aspires to mobilize alternative envisioning for the fundamental structure of the architectural practice, that can lead to a more inclusive future.

Field of Study:
Geographic Area: Asia
Time Period: Modern (1800-present)
Topics: Architecture
Topics: Architectural Design
Topics: Architectural History

Ruo Jia, Columbia University –
The panel website can be found here.

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