Blurring Binaries

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Architecture is often cast as being material, mute, and prosaic; yet architecture, home, and the very notion of “walls” is generative of, and intersected with, notions of our identities, both individual and collective. This article follows the development of a project through a queer approach to design, questioning, and blurring architectural binaries, where the method of exploration is design itself. A process of questioning, designing, and reflecting—in a nonlinear, iterative, design-led research approach—establishes itself through three projects, each increasing in scale and complexity. For the purpose of clarity, the article is structured in a linear fashion to explore at three scales—installation (breaking binaries), domestic (blending binaries), and public (blurring binaries) how design can be used to question spatial binaries. The design interventions work as a helpful way—as a strategy—to navigate current trends in reimaging society and the expectations around space and orientation, thus suggesting ways of making spaces that support the out-of-place, the unsettled, and the oblique.