ARC 605- Inclusive Design- Adam Thibodeaux

Additional information, email:


Post Gay: Exhibiting Architectural Ghosts

This studio will approach inclusivity through the reclaiming and reappropriating of post-gay spaces, with the intent to celebrate forgotten architectural histories through archive and exhibition. Our focus of study will be a collection of buildings in Buffalo that, at one point in their histories, served as a queer gathering space, but now either sit abandoned or have assumed other functions. Together, the studio will engage a three-phase methodology to imagine a future for these buildings that memorializes their past and challenges existing limits in the scope of “inclusive design” through methods of archive and exhibition.

In Phase I: Archival, each student will become intimately acquainted with one building, understanding its exterior as a container for the forgotten histories of marginalized individuals. We will directly engage the buildings through field measurement and observation, as well as resources such as the Madeline Davis LGBTQ Archive of Western New York. The deliverables will be a comprehensive physical model of the building, as well as a list of found objects (images, writings, merchandise, etc.) for archive and exhibition in Phase III.

In Phase II: Queering, each student will speculate on a series of modifications to the exterior façade of their building as an exercise in queering the container. We will learn about different methods of failure and how to manipulate architecture through its most queer form: de-structured failure. The deliverables will be a series of detailed elevation drawings and deep-fake imagery.

In Phase III: Appropriation, each student will redesign the interior of their building to imagine its shell reappropriated for a new program: an inclusive exhibition for the Madeline Davis Archive. Each student will take a stance on inclusive design that moves beyond preconceptions of mobility and access, addressing broader notions of inclusivity ranging from race to gender. The final deliverable will be a comprehensive building design that expands on the work of Phase II and houses the deliverables of Phase I, in addition to other functions of the archive.