From Kitchen to Counter-Space: A Feminist Approach to Architecture and the Built Environment
- Sophie Hochhäusl
- Weitzman School of Design (PennDesign)
- Arts Course Development Grant
In the academic year 2019-2020 Sophie Hochhäusl, Assistant Professor, Architectural History and Theory, developed and taught a new course: Living Room: Gender, Difference, and Dissent. The course engaged students in an analysis of architectural and urban writing through the lens of queer, feminist, and trans theory, focusing on networks of people who have organized around issues of gender in the production of space. The course took the poetry of American-Caribbean professor, writer, and activist June Jordan as its point of departure, arguing that her concept of “living room” provides a conceptual safe space to probe writing and speaking against the imposition of others. In collaboration with theatre director Suzanna Berger, Professor Hochhäusl developed incremental writing assignments, rather than final papers, that were showcased as final performances for students. The class also worked closely with the LGBT Center on Penn campus, showcasing their final performances at the Center.
After the completion of the course, Professor Hochhäusl was invited to share the pedagogical framework of the course in two lectures, one at Columbia University and the second at Cornell University. She was also selected as a Visiting Professor at Princeton University for the academic year 2020-2021, where she was asked to reteach Living Room: Gender, Difference, and Dissent. The course materials will also be developed into a new publication which is now in the production phase. Since teaching the course, Professor Hochhäusl received the inaugural Lynda S. Hartt faculty teaching award by the program in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.