Contested Spaces: Abortion Clinics, Womens Shelters and Hospitals: Politicizing the Female Body

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If so, does this help with gender equality as well? In the last several decades, many organizations have evolved to push the sustainable agenda forward. Some mentioned in the book include Adaptive Environments, a nonprofit organization overseeing universal design and sustainability. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo has a sustainable environments program.

There is a U. San Francisco Department of the Environment is very active locally. Have you interfaced with any of these or similar groups? Do you feel optimistic about the influence of public policy and non-profits in this arena? Have you seen women involved?

Some progress has been made in sustainability and there is less of a fine line between "green design" and "conventional design" because sustainable measures have moved into the building code language. LEED is still optional, so it doesn't seem to have as much power as mandatory building code measures. How do clients respond to either? Chinese Whispers newsletter describes an exhibit that "meditates on the search for sustenance by the 19th century immigrants in San Jose's former Market St. Chinatown, which was destroyed by arson fire in and part of which was located right beneath the site of the present San Jose Museum of Art.

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A Community Wall flutters softly with myriad hand-dyed paper slips bearing visitors' reflections on the meaning of rice and sustenance. Share Share this newsletter article Please join us for our May program on Tuesday May 20, 6pmpm when we will tour the San Francisco home and gardens of renowned Landscape Architect Thomas Church. The program will include a talk by the current owner of the property, historic preservationist Courtney Damkroger. Check our website OWA Calendar. Alex, a Korean New Zealander who is in the US as a Research Scholar at the Institute of Urban and Regional Development at UC Berkeley, has spent the last decade applying her architectural knowledge to teach, practice, and advocate for democratic design.

After meeting fellow members of the OWA at our last Book Circle, Alex is excited to share with us what she has learned about social resilience in the last 8 years. Alex writes that she currently is working on converting her PhD dissertation into a book that would "give voice to public interest designers and expand the role of architecture in the 21st century. Having interviewed over 56 disaster experts in the field, from both within architecture and non-architectural disciplines, I will provoke a discussion on what it means to be a woman, an architect, and a leader.

What is the role of gender in social resilience? How can architectural design lead to more equitable society? Please save the date! As those of you who attend regularly can attest, the retreat is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, expand your network, and catch up with longstanding friends. The program will be announced in the next newsletter, with its theme topic, art project, musical entertainment, movement sessions and Show and Tell.

Once again the Westerbeke family will host us at their beautiful ranch where the food is excellent and the company is the best!

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We look forward to seeing you in September. Charlayne Sakamoto, an OWA member present, was an intern for the project. Elaine's presentation discussed EBALDC's vision for building healthy vibrant neighborhoods and how they are achieving that vision at the California Hotel.

Our group toured the common areas including the mezzanine, program rooms, and hallways where Chris Duncan discussed the original historic details of the building and restoration processes. The Opening and Artists' Reception will be on April 11 from 5 to 8 pm. The building meets the new Napa County Green Building Ordinance standards, consistent with LEED standards, and has a building form that draws on the historic industries and buildings in the area.

Their press release notes that "Dr. Bowes studies the archaeology of the ancient Mediterranean, with specialties in domestic and religious architecture, and the archaeology of Roman poverty. The application deadline is 1 November. For more information, visit: www.

Brown Lori A. The bold is mine. It analyzes how various political entities shape the physical landscapes of inclusion and exclusion to reproductive healthcare access, and questions what architecture's responsibilities are in respect to this spatial conflict.

Employing writing, drawing and mapping methodologies, this interdisciplinary project explores restrictions and legislatures which directly influence abortion policy in the US, Mexico and Canada. It questions how these legal rulings produce spatial complexities and why architecture isn't more culturally and spatially engaged with these spaces.


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Issues of social justice, housing, environmental sustainability, these are all really critical issues where architecture should be at the forefront — looking at, speaking about, doing researching on and designing and building. I never want us to lose the traditional sense of building but I think we [women] also have to be included when we think about diversity and what we bring to the table as design thinkers for the built environment.

In some ways the Transform symposium talked to that. There is a real entrenchment in not wanting to expand the way we define architecture because somehow it might dissolve or weaken what architects do; but we are already weakened. We have already given away so much of our expertise and our knowledge. How can we be paid for the services we provide if we are exploring and creating new forms of practice: how do we work out how to place a value on that service? I see this as a problem for the men practicing in this area also but as financial disempowerment is one of the key difficulties facing women in all walks of life regardless of class it is particularly problematic for women.

LB: I totally agree, the economics are crucial. If expanded practice really engages communities and communities value this service, then there is opportunity for value exchange which includes some kind of economic model. And that devalues our discipline even further.


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  • Not that you could necessarily build huge buildings with crowd funding but there are alternatives out there that people are starting to deal with on a smaller level that may be able to be ramped up when you start to talk about larger scale projects. Larger community partnerships may be a way to also think about different economic models.

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    LB: The issue of negotiation is critical. If we can bring more awareness to young female students and women already out in the profession about how to be better negotiators and to speak up and speak out about what we are worth it will immediately start to change the conversation. I also think the engagement between the academy and the discipline is really critical. In the US there has been siloing between the two and not enough cross engagement. Another thing I am taking away from the research is that all of the case studies have begun with individuals and have then had larger impact.

    There are these small groups who are getting out there making a difference. LB: Yes.

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    TD: How do you feel your research has affected your design practice? I have the utmost respect for people who can build and build well because it is so difficult to create good projects and see them all the way through. That is where I am so much invested. The project visualises the impact of the First Amendment right to free speech and other laws in relation to the contested territory surrounding abortion clinics in the US. Architects are visual communicators and the project helps people visualise the confronting spatial implications of public policy. Pre-Easter anti-abortion protestors sidewalk queue in Louisville, Kentucky, April Image: Nelson Helm, LB: One really interesting thing is now coming out of that work.

    Because of my interview with Diane Derzis, the owner and director of the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, I am in the process of putting together a competition for their fence. In speaking to the director I mentioned that architects would really be interested in doing something with the fence and Diane is interested in this idea. The state legislation is completely anti-choice and many have publicly stated they seek to make the state abortion free — which is of course illegal, considering there is a federal law that legalized abortion in Because of this I need to make sure that I am very informed about what the project could be.

    I want to run a competition that could result in a something actually getting installed within the fence that would be effective — something that is a real spatial result of the research and raises the issue to a broader public. LB: Running a competition will be more interesting in terms of raising awareness. The idea of the publicity is so interesting to me and there are so many different afterlives the products of a competition could have that could push the political space of the project.

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    TD: As an academic as well as an architect, what are some of the important lessons that you would like to see students take with them into the profession? LB: I would like them to understand that they are political agents and that they have agency. Design is not a passive act, it is a critical engagement with community and you have to be cognizant of the power that you have and how you use it. What we do is really important. We need more people to use their agency to make positive change. The project is currently working on Draft Guidelines to Equitable Practice with the Australian Institute of Architects, and Parlour is seeking feedback on them.

    Lori A. Brown, ed. In Bangkok, vibrant young studio Shma is working to transform the public realm through a series of self-initiated, community-oriented projects. Fox Johnston shows how the tenets of good design are transferable and a human-focused approach to architecture essential. Leah Gallagher and Marjorie Dixon, of Kin Architects, formed their Brisbane-based practice in with a desire to design people-centric architecture that respects the history ….



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