Gendered Spaces and Participation in the Public Realm

By Anna Papadopoulou.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 4, 2014 $US5.00

Gendering of space is a complex proposition: at times, its gendered attributes may be purposefully created, and at other times, space that was created in good (non-sexist) faith may be interpreted as having particular gender affiliations. This essay considers ways in which contemporary public spaces exhibit characteristics of gendering and examines how public participation in the architectural process can bring forth a paradigm shift that can potentially influence the essence and form of public places. Participatory design, as exercised by one or both genders, is a vehicle for the creation of better spaces and stronger communities that are egalitarian in nature, and it provides a healthy advantage in favour of physical and social sustainability. This essay establishes a footing on gendered space through relevant, late 20th century literature and significant case studies in a western setting, while examining theories of social identity, politics of human anatomy, space and gender, and their relation to contemporary architectural discourse.

Keywords: Human Environments, Space, Gender Participation

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 4, Issue 2, June 2014, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 4, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 773.263KB)).

Anna Papadopoulou

Adjuct Faculty, Department of Architecture, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus

Anna Papadopoulou received bachelor’s degrees from Tufts University in geological sciences and in classics, followed by post-baccalaureate studies in urbanism. In 2000, she completed her master’s degree in landscape architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design, and she is currently pursuing a doctorate in architecture at Cardiff University. Her thesis focuses on gendered spaces while evaluating their inherent benefits, potential limitations, and possible alternatives. As adjunct faculty at the Department of Architecture of the University of Nicosia, Papadopoulou teaches courses on history and theory of sustainable architecture and instructs architectural design studios with particular focus on regional design and sustainable urbanism. Since 2013, she has been teaching topics on landscape architecture at the Department of Architecture of the University of Cyprus. She also lectures extensively on research and writing for design students, a subject on which she has co-authored a book.