Our first major project in collaboration with QSAPP, Coded Plumbing, began in the spring as a response to Bathroom Bills such as HB2 in North Carolina and 9 other states. The project investigates how laws, codes, and design standards systematically create exclusionary and sometimes violent spaces for members of the LGBTQ community.
We have produced two exhibitions, One at Columbia University, and one with Van Alen Institute’s Disruption Series. The exhibitions invited the public to unravel plumbing codes and design standards at 1:1 scale. By coupling codes with actual “bathroom bill” legislation, we hoped to expose the biopolitical dictation of gender and sexuality in spaces that are typically considered banal.
Our research will used to develop new restroom design standards that will be available online for designers, developers, and business owners to use in their projects. As architects, we believe that design can and should play an active role in responding to social change and hope to offer the tools with which to create it.
QSAPP Collaborators: A.L. Hu, Jarrett Ley, Michael Storm
QSPACE: Lauren Johnson and Ryan Day