Spatializing Reproductive Justice on view at the Center for Architecture
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Spatializing Reproductive Justice on view at the Center for Architecture
Installation view, Spatializing Reproductive Justice, Center for Architecture, 2024. Photo: Asya Gorovits.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Center for Architecture is presenting Spatializing Reproductive Justice. Curated by Lori A. Brown, FAIA, Lindsay Harkema, Bryony Roberts, and FLUFFFF Studio, this exhibition features student research and work by contemporary design practices addressing the spatial, legal, and social logistics of reproductive healthcare access in the United States after the repeal of Roe v. Wade.

In the US, reproductive rights have always been restricted by race, gender, sexuality, and class inequalities; particularly for Black, brown, and Indigenous women, trans men, and non-binary individuals, adolescents, immigrants, people with disabilities, and those who live with low or insecure income. Systemic racism as well as the political influence of religious groups has long shaped reproductive healthcare access in the US. This exhibition arrives at a time when increasing legal restrictions have deepened these inequities, threatening the lives of millions across the country. Spatializing Reproductive Justice aims to foster a dialogue among designers, health care providers, advocates, and students to explore how architects and designers can respond to and support reproductive justice in the US.

The exhibition originated from parallel architecture studios taught in Fall 2022 by Brown at Syracuse University, Harkema at The City College of New York, and Roberts at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The exhibition showcases speculative student research and design work from these courses, selected independent student projects from other institutions, contemporary built projects from around the world, as well as a body of research investigating how the intersecting and compounding factors of race, class, and gender impact an individual’s access to care.

Spatializing Reproductive Justice presents not only designs for reproductive healthcare clinics, but also ideas for how architects can imagine new hybrids of healthcare, housing, childcare, infrastructure, and education to support the autonomy and agency of people deciding their own reproductive futures. Comprising most of the exhibition, student work includes research on alternative networks of care, types of birth control, sensory-material collages, and even a board game illustrating the myriad factors that may influence a person seeking an abortion in a post-Roe US. Realized work on view includes Planned Parenthood facilities in Queens, NY by Stephen Yablon Architects and in Oakland, CA by Fougeron Architecture, and research by Jordan Kravitz, AIA, NCARB, a healthcare architect at Stantec, on laws dictating specific abortion facility regulations in 13 states.

The exhibition will be hosted at additional academic and cultural institutions across the country, incorporating additional student and professional works as it travels.

“Spatializing Reproductive Justice illustrates how architects and architecture have a role in the collective pursuit of reproductive freedom, healthcare access, and sustainable environments in which people of all ages can thrive,” says curator Lindsay Harkema. “Highlighting the reproductive justice framework that was created by Black women three decades ago, the exhibition aims to raise awareness about the lived, spatial realities of restricted access to reproductive health and wellbeing as well as the critical importance of community-led networks of care.”

“The collaborative studios that have become the traveling exhibition illustrate how architecture can engage with and respond to pressing cultural challenges and we hope be a catalyst for public discussion,” says curator Lori A. Brown, FAIA. “The exhibition also works to normalize reproductive healthcare into mainstream design discourse and build connections across medicine, law, and policy—spaces where architects have much to contribute.”

“Spatializing Reproductive Justice offers a profound exploration into how architecture and design can transcend traditional boundaries,” says Jesse Lazar, Assoc. AIA, Executive Director, AIANY and the Center for Architecture. “It showcases messages of hope as well as urgent calls to action, underscoring the architect’s role and responsibility in designing spaces that enhance equitable access to healthcare. As this exhibition travels to different institutions across the country, we are reminded of the transformative power of education and collaboration in promoting social justice and wellbeing.”

Presented in an immersive environment, the work in the exhibition offers a model for how to engage in the transdisciplinary conversations necessary to realizing a more just and equitable reproductive future. Design and research studio FLUFFFF Studio (Natalya Dikhanov, Sadie Imae) designed the exhibition and graphics.

The exhibition will be on view through September 3, 2024.

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