The Spectrum: Exploring the architectural application of non-binary fashion

Christina Zhu Floral

The Spectrum desires to disrupt the social construction of gender binary, dissolving boundaries and hierarchies between the feminine and masculine. Liberated from the confinements of binary classification, The Spectrum embraces those being in-between, being multiple, being neither, being one, being none: The Spectrum does not wish to label those who cannot be defined.

Our built environment is inherently gendered. Spaces we encounter are often designated or associated with a specific gender. This association often goes unnoticed by those unaffected by these specifics. However, for individuals whose gender identity does not correlate with their externally-perceived gender expression, these gendered spaces can prove problematic and uncomfortable.

Deconstructionist fashion visionaries Rei Kawakubo of 'Comme des Garçons' ('like boys'), Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake and Martin Margiela create gender fluid, non-binary garments expressing unconventional representations of femininity and masculinity. 

Implementing unorthodox tailoring methodologies and materials, these fashion designers reimagine the dialogue between textile and body. The critique of pre-established societal perceptions of gender through fashion extends into spatial suggestion, where form and space culminate into a 'dressing' of architecture.

Christinazhu Neck
Embroidered Jabot
Christinazhu Shoulder
Anti-Shoulder Pad

This makes me wonder, could non-binary space be constructed using methodologies of non-binary fashion?

Christinazhu Florals
Inspired by Comme des Garçons 'White Drama'
Exploration of soft architecture

Researching gender theory in conjunction with the methodologies and techniques used by avant-garde fashion designers, this thesis aims to offer a non-binary spatial experience through architectural installation. This resultant space hopes to establish itself as a precedent for possibilities of non-binary space, breaking free from societal expectations of gender and providing a comfortable space for all who reside within The Spectrum.

Christinazhu Lumpy1
Christinazhu Lumpy2
Installation at Melville Park
Plan drawing of one possible configuration of installation
Section drawing
Christinazhu Lumpything
Christinazhu Luump