Gender, Space, Architecture

Course Description 

This courses places issues of gender at the center of explorations of space and architecture. We will work with theoretical and multi-disciplinary texts to consider gender in relation to particular architectural sites, projects and ideas.  The core debates on women and gender in art and architectural history are introduced. In-depth analyses of selected works of art and architecture from various historical contexts highlight issues including gendered practices of space, vision and power, masculinity, and cyberspace. Special emphasis is placed on the experience of women and men in Third World contexts.  No background in art or architectural history required.


  • Jane Rendell et al, eds. Gender Space Architecture: An Interdisciplinary Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2000).
  • Leila Ahmed, Women and Gender in Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate (New Haven : Yale University Press, 1992).


  • Introduction
  • Issues of Gender in architectural practice and theory
  • Femininity and Domesticity
  • Critical Analysis Assignment due.
  • The Social Construction of Gender
  • Domestic architecture and Femininity:
  • Public spaces 1: Gender, Power, Access
  • Public Spaces 2: Patronage and Power
  • The Space of the Body
  • A Space Restricted to your Own Sex & Assignment due.
  • Cyberspace; the Posthuman Body
  • Maculinities
  • Spaces of Colonialism/Postcolonialism and Gender
  • Architectural Discourse and Feminist Practice
Watenpaugh, Heghnar. "Gender, Space, Architecture." Syllabus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA [date not provided.]
Heghnar Watenpaugh